31 January 2006

Forum 18 reports that a controversial Romanian religion bill set for debate tomorrow has minority religious groups (including evangelicals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists, Baptists and other Protestants, Greek Catholics and Baha’is) worried about the religious liberty that will be afforded to their groups under the bill’s “three-tier system of state recognition” of religious groups, ranking the 18 recognized religions and denominations according to their membership (and not recognizing any religions with fewer than 300 adult adherents). The president of the Romanian Evangelical Alliance, Paul Negrut, has complained that the bill was pushed through Romania’s Senate by the government and the country’s strong Orthodox Church, without debates and ignoring several human rights amendments which the Senate had approved.