HUNGARY: Draft of antisect-law

An Independent Parliamentary Proposal, on establishing an Inter-Ministerial Committee for the coordination of social self-defense against spiritual influences endangering fundamental freedoms

The Parliament

Considering initiations received from numerous groups of citizens;

Considering the recommendations and resolutions accepted during the last years by Council of Europe bodies, - especially the Council of Europe Recommendation 1412 (06/22/99), the experiences of recommendations and resolutions by the European Parliament, the European Commission as well as that of European national legislations and governmental bodies with the purpose of promoting and coordinating on the governmental level the social resistance against the fraudulent influence of religious nature, or with any other spiritual orientation or aim, attacking certain citizens or their groups and endangering human rights - namely the right to preserving the identity, to personal and family security, freedom of belief and religion and the right to information.

Adopts the following resolution:


The Government is requested by the Parliament to establish an Inter- Ministerial Committee working next to it for the fulfillment of the following tasks:

Comprehensive scholarly examination of occurrences related to the activities of new or novel religious or other kind of spiritual initiatives, movements and communities, and especially of groups, commonly called as "sects" in Europe; and the promotion of the establishment of such examinations’ institutional conditions.

Comprehensive and regular information on the risks represented by the "sect phenomenon" for the citizens - above all for the young whose socialization according to the norms accepted by the dominant part of the society is endangered, - also on the realization of the intent to mentally influence their identity; promoting the realization of the institutional conditions of such information.

Promoting civil, secular and ecclesiastical organizations safeguarding the interest of citizens influenced by the "sect phenomenon" in any way and working against the above-described anti-social influence; creating a systematic cooperation with well-known non-profit civil organizations that have been working in this field for a long time.

Initiating and promoting the establishment of the institutional conditions of organized information and training among public servants - above all teachers and other public servants working with the youth by occupation, - who presumably come across with the "sect phenomenon" in the course of their work.

The coordination of the involved state authorities’ measures and interventions against destructive groups.

Initiating an amendment and regulatory enactments for stepping up against intellectual influencing endangering civil rights.

Systematic following of the international experiences related to the "sect-issue" - especially of those recommendations and resolutions that are being made in the European Union countries and in the different European institutions (council of Europe, European Parliament, OSCE); establishing a partnership based on mutual information with the European - national or supranational- state and civil organizations dealing with this issue.


The Parliament authorizes the Government to decide on the Inter-Ministerial Committee’s structure, functioning and organization in a decree. The Government appoints the executive director of the Committee for a five-year-period.


The Inter- Ministerial Committee operates with annual work-schedule. It prepares annual reports on its work for the Government, which are also sent for informative purposes to the Parliament and are accessible to the public through the Government’s home page and by the media.


The present decree shall come into force on the day of its promulgation. Its implementation shall be carried out by the Government within thirty days after its coming into force.


The proposal is trying to solve a decade-old problem. Since the democratic transformation the Hungarian society has been flooded by novel, often destructive, negative influences endangering human rights, against which it is helpless even today.

According to the Preamble, the proposal intends to further the social measures and government-level coordination against this negative tendency in the spirit of the resolutions and recommendations issued by Council of Europe organs. It is also an important consideration, that during the last years there have been pressing initiatives on this topic from a considerable number of Hungarian groups of citizens towards the parliament and the Government. We find it important, that the various occurrences related to the functioning of groups that are commonly called as "sects" within the European Union are examined and analyzed comprehensively, in a scholarly way above the level of everyday politics. The adequate institutional conditions of this work should be established, which is the responsibility of the Government according to the proposal. The proposal has been made timely by the fact that the Office of National Security reported in his book last year that some groups, disguised as religious organizations, constitute already a threat to national security.

The proposal is trying to find a solution to a long-existing problem, which solution takes into full consideration human rights, within them freedom of religion, and at the same time it aims at having a European outlook taking into consideration the positive example of certain European Union member states.

Based on all these we could state, that the proposal could promote the common aim and intent, that the Parliament and the Government should end all forms of abuse of religious - and church statuses, and should accurately inform the currently helpless Hungarian society about the risks represented by the "sect phenomenon".

Budapest, 12/11/01

László Szászfalvi /MDF/

László Balogh /MDF/