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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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When Hungarian radical right-wingers rallied against a Jewish conference in Budapest in early May, a well-known Protestant pastor hid behind the stage while his wife stepped up to the podium to denounce Jews and Israel.
Lorant Hegedus could have preached the same anti-Semitism as his wife, a deputy for the populist Jobbik party in parliament. But his part in launching the rally may cost him his role as the far-right's favorite clergyman.
With anti-Semitism on the rise here, Christian churches are working with the Jewish community to counter the provocations against Jews and the Roma minority that have won Jobbik support among voters fed up with the country's economic crisis.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Europe Hungary * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Churches Other Faiths Judaism
Saint Margaret’s Anglican Episcopal Church, Budapest, has begun offering Anglican worship in English at Svábhegy in the beautiful Buda Hills on the first Sunday of each month....
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Europe Hungary
Almighty God, by whose grace thy servant Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and honored Jesus in the poor of this world: Grant that we, following her example, may with love and gladness serve those in any need or trouble, in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
It has never been easier to become a cybercriminal, Foreign Secretary William Hague is to warn an international conference in Budapest.
He will tell delegates that cybercrime is "one of the greatest global and strategic challenges of our time."
Mr Hague is highlighting the UK's determination to be a world leader in cyber security - it is spending £2m setting up a cybercrime centre.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Globalization Law & Legal Issues Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK Europe Hungary
Hungary’s Ambassador to the Holy See is rather perplexed by the negative reaction of some European figures and institutions to his country’s new Constitution -- a document he sees as offering a possible impetus to a "Christian renaissance" in Europe.
"We think it’s a little bit strange to hear such voices," Ambassador Gábor Győriványi told ZENIT March 27th. "The real founding fathers of the European Union planned to base the Union on Christian values, and expressed the notion that European democracy can only be viable if constructed on the Christian basis."
The preamble of the new Constitution, or "Fundamental Law," which came into force Jan. 1, contains references to God, Christianity, and traditional family values. It further stipulates that the life of a fetus be protected from the moment of conception (abortion remains legal, however, in cases where the mother’s health is threatened).
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Beginning Sept. 1, Hungarians will have to pay a 10 forint (€ 0.37) tax on foods with high fat, sugar and salt content, as well as increased tariffs on soda and alcohol. The expected annual proceeds of €70 million will go toward state health care costs, including those associated with addressing the country's 18.8 percent obesity rate, which is more than 3 percent higher than the European Union average of 15.5 percent according to a 2010 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In Germany, by comparison, 13.6 percent of adults are obese, with Romania at the bottom of the list with 7.9 percent.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said, "Those who live unhealthily have to contribute more." In other words, the new law is based on the idea that those whose diets land them in the hospital should help foot the bill, particularly in a country with a health care deficit of €370 million.
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The 40 gypsies from Gyöngyöspata, who don't even use the more acceptable term Roma to describe themselves, have been assigned the job of clearing hibiscus bushes and undergrowth for four months. They are among 300,000 Hungarians who will soon be performing "community" work under a new law, which dictates that anyone who is out of work for more than 90 days in a row forfeits the right to social welfare and membership in the social insurance system.
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The new “Law on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and on Churches, Religions and Religious Communities” was enacted July 12 with backing from Hungary’s governing center-right Fidesz party.
Under the law, only 14 of 358 registered churches and religious associations will be granted legal recognition, while others will have to reapply for legal registration after two-thirds approval in parliament.
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"I just can't believe it," Mr. [Dezso] Kocs said, looking around at his current quarters, with empty cardboard boxes used as night stands. "I used to be a business owner. Now I'm a slave."
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary Europe --Eastern Europe Hungary Switzerland
The big news is France. With sentiment worsening across Europe, France has lost its relative safe haven status – credit default swap spreads on French government debt were up sharply today.
The trigger – oddly enough – was Hungary’s announcement that its budget is worse than expected (blaming the previous government; this is starting to become the European pattern) and in the current fragile environment discussed yesterday, this relatively small piece of news spooked investors. But these developments only reinforced a trend that was already in place.
It did not help that the Irish Minister of Finance announced Ireland has 74.2bn euros of guaranteed bank loans, bonds, and systemic support falling due between now and Oct 1. This is around 55% of GNP. It sounds like everyone backed by the Irish government had the “clever” idea to roll over their debts to just before the guarantees expire.
The big losers are Portugal-Ireland-Italy-Greece-and-Spain as always, but Belgium is now in the line of fire, and France is clearly under pressure. The spread between French and German credit default swaps (measuring the relative probability of default) is up – yesterday this was 40 basis points, today it stands at 44 (up from just 5 basis points at the end of 2009; most of the increase is since mid-March, with a sharp acceleration recently). French bonds have become illiquid, with wide bid-ask spreads; not what is supposed to happen in a safe haven. This is going to make the French angry – watch for more market slanders from top French politicians over the weekend; you know they would just love to ban trading in something.
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Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Credit Markets Euro European Central Bank The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Politics in General * International News & Commentary Europe --Eastern Europe --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010 France Hungary
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