Social Justice Research

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 297–313 | Cite as

Freedom of Religion and Minority Religions in Hungary

  • Balázs Schanda


Religiosity in Hungary is not especially high; however, the vast majority of the population has a denominational identity. There has been a religious revival since the early 1980's, both in the mainstream churches and due to some religious groups newly active in the country. Religious claims are mostly accommodated on an individual basis. Legal entities called churches can be founded for the purpose of exercising religion, but the registration of a “church” is not a condition of the free exercise of religion. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution. The Hungarian state regards itself neutral in matters concerning ideology and religion. Church and state operate separately. The state, however, appreciating religious phenomena, provides support for churches and is open for cooperation with them on a sophisticated legal basis. A new method of offering state support for religions using taxpayer choices is described, which shows some interesting patterns of support for minority faiths as well as traditional ones.

Hungary religion religious minorities religious freedom funding 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boleratzky, L. (1998). A magyar evangélikus egyházjog alapjai és forrásai, II. rész (The fundaments and the sources of the Hungarian Lutheran ecclesiastical law), Budapest, Ordass Lajos Baráti Kör.Google Scholar
  2. Boyle, K., and Sheen, J. (1997). Freedom of Religion and Belief: A World Report, New York, Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Dobszay, J. (1998). Restoring church property constitutionally, East European Constitutional Review, 91.Google Scholar
  4. Kamarás, I. (1998). Krisnánsok Magyarországon, Budapest, Iskolakutura.Google Scholar
  5. Schanda, B. (1999). The relationship between State and Church in Hungary: The financing of the Church. In Sajó, A., and Avineri, S. (eds.), The Law of Religious Identity. Modes for Post-Communism, The Hague, Kluwer Law International, pp. 175–187.Google Scholar
  6. Tomka, M. (1995). Csak katolikusoknak, Budapest, Corvinus Kiadó.Google Scholar
  7. Tomka, M., and Zulehner, P. (1999). Religion in den Reformländern Ost (Mittel) Europas, Ostfildern, Schwabenverlag.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Balázs Schanda
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Canon LawPéter Pázmány Catholic UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Szonyeg u. 1.Hungary

Personalised recommendations