Things operate a bit different in Europe when it comes to churches.
Europe does not have a history of a strict separation of church and state where the state does not interfere in the internal affairs of the church. In fact, some countries in Europe still have state churches, for example, the Church of England.
Despite the close relationship between church and state in Europe, there exists a very real threat for some countries to stifle religious freedom. Last year, Hungary passed a Church Act requiring churches to register with the State to have legal status and maintain tax exempt status, among other things.
Under the old law in Hungary, registering a church was a simple and straightforward task. But the 2013 Church Act changed that, adding several controversial provisions that stifled the right of churches in Hungary to even exist.
The Church Act de-registered all but a select and arbitrary listing of churches recognized by the parliament. Then, the churches that were de-registered were required to register anew under the new law that contained new criteria for registration. Those churches who did not meet the new criteria (despite the fact that several of the automatically registered churches did not meet the criteria) could no longer exist as churches and enjoy the benefits therein. The only means of appeal was to the Parliament itself. FULL POST