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2019.09.02 12:00

Lithuania's neopagans turn to ECHR after failure to get state recognition

BNS2019.09.02 12:00

Lithuania's neopagan community, Romuva, has turned to the European Court of Human Rights after being denied recognition by the Lithuanian parliament, Seimas.

The communityis asking the ECHR to rule whether Lithuania has violated the articles of the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

"The best compensation of the damage done to us would be the Strasbourg court's recognition that our rights were violated," says Priestess Inija Trinkūnienė. "We are convinced that the ECHR's favorable ruling would encourage politicians to amend legislation and to consider all religions, whatever they are, equal in the face of law in Lithuania."

In June, the Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, did not not recognise Romuva as a religious community.

Read more: Lithuanian parliament refuses state recognition to neopagan religion

If it had been recognized by the state, Romuva would have been given the right to a land tax credit, its priests would have been covered by the state social insurance, and marriages by such priests would have been recognized legally as having been registered at a civil registration office.

Based on the 2001 census figures, 1,200 people considered themselves members of the neopagan community.