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Govt to Double Support for Small-town Religious Leaders

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.05.30.

The government will double the salary supplements of pastors, priests and rabbis serving in small municipalities, Zoltán Balog, the commissioner for social affairs, said on Friday.

The 2.6 billion forints (EUR 7.5m) allocated towards supporting small-town religious leaders will be increased by 60% from June 1 and by a further 40% from Jan. 1 next year, Balog told a press conference.

This year, the government is spending an additional 1.6 billion forints on the salary supplements of religious leaders, while the 2021 budget allocates a total of 5.2 billion forints for this, he added.

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told the same press conference that up until now, not much had been said about the “spiritual aspects” of the coronavirus epidemic.

The epidemic has been hard on the operation of the various dioceses, especially the smaller ones, Gulyás said.

Miklós Soltész, the state secretary for church, minority and civil society relations, said the government was expected to decide on increasing its support for ethnic Hungarian priests next week.