August 2022
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3

World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in Slovakia

Slovakia-2017-02-02-World Interfaith Harmony Week Observed in Slovakia


Bratislava, Slovakia—A new national law that limits the rights of faith groups was the focus of the UPF observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

On January 31, 2017, the National Council of the Slovak Republic—the nation’s parliament—amended an existing law about the registration of religious bodies. The new law decrees that a faith needs to have a minimum of 50,000 adult members if it wishes to be recognized by the state. The number is disturbingly high, since Slovakia has only about 5 million inhabitants.

The new legislation is not only restrictive but also discriminatory: Only the Catholic Church and three other churches meet the required standard. New religions, and even established faiths like Islam, are prevented from taking root in the country.

Before the vote took place, UPF-Slovakia Secretary General Milos Klas had written to all members of parliament, appealing to them to protect religious freedom.

Because of the legal restraints, the Slovak branch of UPF decided to make religious discrimination the theme of this year’s World Interfaith Harmony Week. A panel discussion was held on Thursday, February 2, in a public hall in Bratislava, the national capital.

Panelists came from the Forum of the World's Religions, Slovakia; the Department of Comparative Religion at Comenius University, Bratislava; the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Faculty; and the Hare Krishna movement. There was also a member of parliament who had voted against the restrictions.

Among the audience of almost thirty persons there was also a top politician from the Christian Democratic Movement political party.

Part of the program was the appointment as Ambassadors for Peace of the nation’s leading couple of the Hare Krishna movement, who are frequent guests and speakers at UPF’s interfaith events.

The panel discussion lasted three hours—one hour longer than expected. All the guests really enjoyed the free discussion and the spirit of tolerance, despite some heated statements.

This was one of the few public events in the Slovak capital—if not the only one—about the dangers of religious discrimination through the new legislation.


If you find this page helpful and informative please consider making donation. Your donation will help Universal Peace Federation (UPF) provide new and improved reports, analysis and publications to you and everyone around the world.

UPF is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and all donations are tax deductible in the United States. Receipts are automatically provided for donations of or above $250.00.

Donate to the Universal Peace Federation: Your donation to support the general programs of UPF.

Donate to the Religious Youth Service (RYS): Your donation will be used for service projects around the world.

Donate to UPF's Africa Projects: Your donation will be used for projects in Africa.