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May 19, 2013 4:13 am

Hungarian Church Seeks to Defrock Pastor After wife’s Anti-Semitic Speech

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The logo of the far-right Hungarian political party, Jobbik, whose rising influence in the country has led to concerns of increased anti-Semitism and hate speech. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Hungarian Reformed Church is trying to defrock Lorant Hegedus, a Protestant pastor, for participating in a radical right-wing rally during which his wife had given a speech denouncing Jews and Israel.

Hegedus’s wife is a deputy for the right-wing Jobbik party in the Hungarian Parliament. The party had won 17 percent of the country’s vote in the 2010 election.

“This is a permanent provocation… It has nothing to do with the Gospel,” said Gusztav Bolcskei, the church’s presiding bishop, regarding Hegedus’s involvement with Jobbik, according to Reuters. Defrocking the pastor “should start at the church district level,” Bolcskei said. “It can be done, but it’s a very long procedure,” he said.

Peter Feldmajer, who just stepped down as the head of the 80,000-100,000-member Hungarian Jewish community, said Hungarian Jews are “satisfied with the actions of the churches,” and that he thinks “at the end of the day, he will be fired.”

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