WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 /Standard Newswire/ -- The Institute on Religion and Public Policy has learned that on December 27, 2006, Romanian President Traian Basescu approved a notorious new Law on Religion. Forum 18 News indicates that "challenges are planned in the
"The promulgation of this law by President Basescu is a blatant attack on religious freedom and fundamental rights and demonstrates little if any move away from the previous Communist regimes which he had promised to move
The Law was rushed through parliament on December 13, 2006, and the presidential website reported that it was promulgated December 27. Those monitoring the law in
The new law conflicts with the Romanian Constitution and already existing laws, in addition to internationally recognized human rights instruments to which the Romanian Government is obligated to adhere.
The law establishes a series of qualifying standards which must be met in order to obtain the government's preferential status. Membership requires 0.1% of the population of
The law also creates a tiered system of religious communities, with different rights associated with respective levels. In a recent draft a religious group must wait twelve years before qualifying for and being accepted into the most preferential status, provoking marked disapproval from wide-ranging groups including Adventists, Baha'is Baptists, Greek Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses.
"The sudden rush to pass and now promulgate this legislation raises serious questions regarding