BUDAPEST, Hungary—Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world rejoiced with their fellow worshippers in Hungary after they received official recognition as a religious community by the Hungarian Parliament on February 27, 2012. This brings the total number of registered religions in Hungary to 32.
István Jakab, a member of the Branch Committee of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hungary, reacted to the announcement, “For more than one hundred years, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hungary have been promoting Christian values found in the Bible as we engage in our public ministry. This new legal status will protect our right to continue sharing this peaceful message with our neighbors.”
While churches and religious communities are entitled to receive financial support from the Hungarian government, the Witnesses’ Bible education work has always been financed by voluntary donations. This standard is practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.
Jehovah’s Witnesses expect this recognition to have an impact on other countries as well. Jakab stated: “We are confident that this recognition is a positive sign that freedom of religion and the rights of minorities will be protected in Hungary—which ultimately benefits society as a whole.”