Orbán: EU ban on kosher slaughter ‘assault on the freedom of religion’

The European Court of Justice's December ruling concerning a ban on Kosher slaughter is an "assault on the freedom of religion", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a letter sent to Isaac Herzog, head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, the head of the PM's press office said on Tuesday.

Orbán responded to a letter by Herzog dated December 31 which called attention to “one of the most acute and crucial issues of Jewish communities in Europe”.

Bertalan Havasi said the prime minister told Herzog in his response that in the past decade the Hungarian government had “strived to ensure the safety and prosperity of the Hungarian Jewish community”.

“Due to our efforts we have experienced a renaissance of Jewish life and Jewish culture in Hungary, marked by such notable events as the Maccabi Games and the annual Jewish Cultural Festival”, he said.

Orbán said he was deeply disappointed to read the recent ruling of the European court enabling member states to uphold a ban on Kosher slaughter.

“I believe this decision is not only an assault on the freedom of religion, but an assault on our Judeo-Christian heritage, and an assault on the Jewish communities living in Europe. Coonsequently, my government was quick to condemn this harmful decision, and we will spare no effort to raise our voice against it in every possible international forum,” Orbán said.

“I believe in a Europe that not only ensures religious freedom, but proudly stands up for the Judeo-Christian heritage, traditions and values that our countries and societies are based on,” he added.

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