NEW YORK – In a move that ensures the right of Finnish Jews and others to practice their faiths freely, the Constitutional Law Committee of Finland’s Parliament rejected a proposal to outlaw religious slaughter.
The committee, in a 10-5 vote, decided that such restrictions were “not proportional” with freedom of religion.
“The World Jewish Congress appealed to the highest levels of the Finnish government, while a WJC task force on religious freedom worked closely with the Finnish Jewish community to protect the rights of religious minorities in that nation,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “One of our organization’s core mandates is to support the right of Jews, wherever they may be, to freely and safely practice their religion.”
Yaron Nadbornik, president of the Central Council of Finnish Jewish Communities and vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said, “I am very grateful that the rights of the Jewish minority were safeguarded with reference to the freedom of religion. It’s been a long road but now it seems that we can continue with the Jewish slaughter method in Finland to secure food according to our culture.”
Jonathan Arkush, chair of the WJC task force, said, “Today’s vote is an important affirmation of the right of Jewish people to practice their faith without state interference. We extend our appreciation to the 10 members of the Constitutional Law Committee for their astute decision to vote against the proposed law.”
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