By: V4 Agency
A ruling in December by the European Court of Justice upholding a ban on kosher ritual slaughter is an attack against religious freedom, Judeo-Christian heritage and the Jewish communities living in Europe, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban wrote in a letter addressed to Jichak Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, the head of the Prime Minister’s Press Office told Hungary’s state news agency (MTI) on Tuesday.
The response came after the head of the Jewish Agency had sent a letter to Viktor Orban on 31 December, drawing his attention to the issue, which is extremely important for Jewish communities across Europe.
In his reply, Viktor Orban pointed out that in the last ten years, his government sought to ensure the safety and security of Hungary’s Jewish communities.
“Thanks to our efforts, we have experienced a renaissance of Jewish life and culture in Hungary, hallmarked by such noteworthy events as the Maccabi Games or the annually held Jewish Cultural Festival,” the PM wrote.
In light of that, a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice, which allowed member states to uphold a ban on kosher animal slaughter, is a profound disappointment, Viktor Orban said.
“I believe that this decision is not just an attack on religious freedom, but an attack on our Judeo-Christian heritage and Jewish communities in Europe. Consequently, my government has quickly condemned this harmful decision and we will do our best to speak out against it in all possible international fora”, Viktor Orban said.
He also voiced his belief in a Europe which not only guarantees religious freedom but also proudly stands up for its Judeo-Christian heritage, traditions and values, upon which our countries and societies are based.
In its ruling issued on 17 December last year, the European Court of Justice upheld a ban on kosher ritual slaughter in Belgium.