Article republished courtesy of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom
Today in Budapest, several hundreds of Scientologists gathered peacefully with candles before their Church in Budapest to protest what they called an outrageous and wholesale violation of the human rights of all Scientologists in the country. Indeed, today, 50 police officers of the National Investigation Office raided the Church of Scientology of Budapest and 17 Scientology missions in Hungary, saying that it was related to “a suspected misuse of personal information.”
Since 2012, when a widely-disputed law on churches and religious matters went into force, Hungary has been increasingly criticized by human rights institutions for its crackdown on religious minorities throughout the country. Even the European Courts of Human Rights determined in 2014 that the Hungarian Church Act (of 2012) violated the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and freedom of association protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. This became final by decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court in September 2014.
Since that date, Hungary has refused to abide by the decision, and increased its crackdown on religious minorities such as Scientologists, other non-Catholic, Christian, Jewish or Muslim denominations and eastern religions, in disrespect of the human rights standards of the Council of Europe, the European Union and the OSCE.