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Freedom House urges Hungary to revoke church law

Government

Washington-based human rights body Freedom House has called on the Hungarian government to revoke the country's new church law, the international human rights watchdog said on its website on Thursday.

The organization criticized the law for restricting the officially recognized churches in Hungary to 14 religious communities. Director of Advocacy Paula Schreifer called the legislation discriminative and incompatible with the principles of a liberal democracy.

Even before the law was passed on July 12, Freedom House had written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to convey American concerns about the draft.

Under the new law, communities other than the officially recognized 14 will need approval by two thirds of Parliament to be registered as a church or religious congregation.

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