The Constitutional Protection of Freedom of Religion in Russia and Hungary: A Comparative Analysis | Marilyn Guirguis | Virginia Journal of International Law

Freedom of religion is a cornerstone of healthy democracy. Although the commitment to advancing protection of religious minorities was at its peak in the 1990s, it slowly began to erode in both Russia and Hungary. However, despite the recent setback, it seems that Russian minorities were better able to assert themselves within the political sphere than Hungarian minorities. This Note analyzes why Russian minority religions fared better in pushing against some of the restrictive measures the government advanced while those in Hungary failed. Russia and Hungary are both postcommunist countries that have emerged from previously-repressive regimes with aspirations to become democratic countries, built on tolerance of differing values and a commitment to furthering human dignity. However, both countries use several tactics that oppress religious minorities. Some of the major ways majorities represented in government have been able to assert their own principles have been through the promotion of state interests at the cost of the individual. National security, and the health and well-being of others, are commonly asserted as valid reasons to suppress minority dissent. Further, this Note proposes certain practical mechanisms that minorities may utilize to protect their religious liberty interests, using Russia as an example.

Scroll to Top