Mr. Jura Nanuk, founder and president of the Central-European Religious Freedom Institute (CERFI) based in Budapest, Hungary, spoke on the topic of “Religious Freedom in Hungary and the New Law on Minority Faiths”. Mr. Nanuk said he was inspired to start his institute by an anonymous quote, “Sometimes I want to ask Godwhy He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, but I’m afraid He may ask me the same question.”
Is there a distinction to be made between “cults” or “sects” and religions? Should religious freedom be only accessible to so-called historical religions and their members? Should other minority religious or spiritual movements called “sects” or “cults” be denied the enjoyment of the provisions of international declarations and covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief?
I would like to use these brief remarks to offer some perspectives on the notion of “multiculturalism,” and to share my concerns, as a human rights advocate, about threats to fundamental human rights in Europe posed by some interpretations of multiculturalism.
I am not sure why the word “multiculturalism” even exists as a descriptive term, because all societies are in fact multicultural. Even the most isolated groups, which have not been influenced by global diversity, whose members share a common religion, a common language and ethnic heritage, common symbols and customs—even such societies are in fact multicultural.