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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
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Reform Congregations in Hungary Lose State Recognition

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The European Union for Progressive Judaism and Hungary’s two Reform congregations took their case against Hungary’s new law on religion to the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague.

The two synagogues, Sim Shalom and Bet Orim, said in a statement that they had submitted an application Tuesday to the Court “concerning the violation of their human rights” caused by the entry into force of the new Hungarian “Church Law.”

The new law, which came into force Jan. 1, grants official recognition to only three streams of Judaism in Hungary: Neolog (Hungarian Conservative), Orthodox and Status-quo (associated with Chabad Lubavitch) congregations.

“As a consequence of the entry in force of the Act, the ‘church’ status of the Hungarian [Reform] congregations was revoked,” the statement said.  The two Reform communities consider the new law on religion “illegal” and “discriminatory,” the statement said, and had already called on the Hungarian Constitutional Court to annul it.

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