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ATTEMPTS MADE TO REACH PARITY OF NONDENOMINATIONAL CITIZENS IN SLOVAKIA

(Excerpted from diary of activities of Prometheus Society of Slovakia-(abbrv:PS) ( up-dated after general assembly in 1999)

(Prometheus Society of Slovakia is a national secular humanist society (a chapter of IHEU and EHF) which adopted by its by-law the commitment to protect the rights of non believers 



  1991
1.)
May 14.Interview and negotiations at Finance Ministry ( Prof Čelko with Ing Záhorský ) on possible ways how to get financial funds for activities of PS. ( no effect-- abbrv NE )

2.)
August 22 The board of PS approached by a letter Mr. L.Snopko- the culture minister of Slovakia, proposing participation and co-operation in the fields of public education and activities connected with civil ceremonies, which belonged into the jurisdiction of that ministry.. At the same time, asking financial subvention for activities of PS.. The minister refused these demands. ( NE)

 3.)
April 5. Letter of the board of Central Council. "Position of PS concerning implementing freedom of thought, conscience and religious faith in this country" -addressed to president of CSFR V.Havel, prime minister of government M.Čalfa, chairman of Slovak National Assembly F.Mikloško, and prime minister of Slovak government V.Mečiar. (NE)

(This was the first attempt, addressed to constitutional office bearers of state. It proves the long lapse of time during which no improvement was reached - despite many additional approaches.)

4.)
April 6, The demand for financial subvention for activities of PS to the ministry of culture was repeated. (NE)

5.)
October8. A delegation consisting of J.Čelko, M.Czupil, and P.Prusák was interviewed and negotiated on the headquarters of the Slovak TV ( with Mr.P.Malec) proposing programmes on secular humanist issues to be included into the TV broadcasting projects. ( NE).

1992
6.)
March 13 Letter of Central Council of PS to Presidium of Slovak National Assembly and to the prime minister- containing the : Resolution of PS concerning the bill of Slovak National Assembly " on protection of human life at implementing health services." (" abortion law ") suggestions disregarded. (NE)

7.)
April 15.Letter to the defence minister L.Dobrovský on the issue of clerical infiltration of the army. paying no heed on the vast group of population professing no religion. (NE)

8.)
July 15. Letter of PS to the chair of National Assembly of Slovakia- Ivan Gašparovič -offering co-operation in advisory boards for some social problems. (in the position of representing secular humanist interests) (NE).

9.)
November 18. Negotiating with director of Slovak TV. Mr.P.Malec on participation in the advisory board of TV and access to mass media with issues of secular humanism .As member for the advisory board prof L.Hubenák was proposed but the proposition was not accepted.. (members of delegation :J.Čelko,O.Blašková,I.Poljak) (NE)

10.)
December 1. Negotiation of PS´s delegation (consisting of J.Čelko,O.Blašková) with director of dptm. of education ministry (Dr Hránová) about teaching ethical education at schools and about participation of PS in projects of the ministry during the Year of Family -94 .( the first point NE- the second accepted) First point NE / second point successful

1993
11.)
January 14.Negotiation (L-Hubenák, Ľ Ludha, Ing Korecký) with Dept. for funding political parties and movements at Finance Ministry to obtain financial funding for Society's projects and activities. (NE)

12,)
February 15. Letter of Central council to the education minister M.Kučera with the Resolution of IHEU from 1992 as informative material on activities and aims of movement.. The same was sent to the culture minister Mr.D.Slobodník.

13.)
March 15. Letter of Central council to president of republic M.Kováč with the EHF resolution on the rights of non believers. At the same time sent to chairman of parliament I.Gašparovič, chairman of parliamentary committee M.Andel, and to the prime minister V.Mečiar. (NE)

14.)
April 29.Delegates of PS ( L.Hubenák, Ľ Ludha) were having dealings with the chief editor of the literary and dramatic department of Slovak Broadcast (L.Staroň) concerning Voltaire´s commemoration, suggesting programme items to be broadcast in 1994 with adequate air time to be given to it. (NE)

15.)
May 24. Delegates of PS (J.Čelko,,Ľ Ludha) visited the secretary of parliamentary board for education, science, and culture Mr.Kožar. They informed him on main tasks of the Society, and handed over the following documents :resolution on the rights of non believers, letter for the chair of the board M.Andel concerning the attitude of Slovak Radio and Slovak TV to PS, with proposal to involve more the media for satisfying the specific cultural needs of people not claiming any religious creed or church affiliation (NE).

16.)
June 2. Negotiation of PS delegates (L.Hubenák,Ľ Ludha) with the programme manager of Slovak TV Mr.J.Filo, concerning proposals for Voltaire anniversary, and on informing the public about activities and existence of the PS, as well as on proceedings of the European Humanist Congress in Berlin. (NE)

17.)
July 15.Letter of the board of Central Council to chairman of the National Assembly of Slovakia, Mr. I.Gašparovič about possible participation of PS as representatives of secular humanists in Slovakia in advisory bodies of the parliament so that they can have their say at solving some problems of community. Similar letter was sent to the prime minister V.Mečiar.(NE)

1994
18.)
February 4. Project of activities of PS submitted to Ministry of Social Affairs and Family at the occasion of the year of family 1994. Projects of publishing 4 paperbacks about current position of family and a project of meetings between Slovak and foreign families, which needed funding, were rejected on June 8 .Another proposed plan of lectures and discussions in mass media remained open., finally was not materialised. (NE)

19.)
February 23. Negotiating with state secretary of Justice Ministry, Mr. Hanzel (Hubenák,Čelko) about involving our Society at preparing laws with respect of secular humanist community in Slovakia, based on civil and human rights.(NE)

20.)
February 17.Letter to the defence minister, Mr. Imrich Andrejčák concerning preparations in establishing spiritual services in army (NE)

21.)
April 8. Submitting a project to the "Foundation for Support to Civil Activities in the Slovak republic" on organising a seminar and printing a publication entitled: :"F.M.Voltaire-personality of Enlightenment and humanist." Rejected on July4,.-94. Application for a sponsor's financial contribution, addressed to the Slovak Insurance CO was not accepted (November2.-.1994.). The same negative result with Option Stock Market of Bratislava.(September12.-.1994) (NE)

22.)
April 26-30. Dealings with Culture Ministry, University Library, Komensky University, Slovak Academy of Science, and French Institute (Hubenák, Rehák, Prusák, Poljak) concerning projects at 300-th Voltaire's anniversary. (NE)

23.)
December 19.Letter from Central Council to the defence minister clarifying PS position from the standpoint of secular humanists to renewing spiritual service in army. Similar letter sent to interior minister of Slovakia: Ľ.Hudek. (NE)

1995.
24.)
January 16. Letter from board of the PS Central Council to deputy prime minister Mrs.K.Tothová proposing to include a delegate of PS, representing views of secular humanists in the Board for mass media of the Slovak republic. (NE)

25.)
May 10. PS delegation (Hubenák,Ludha) negotiated on the Secretariat of the deputy prime minister J.Kalmán ( with Ing. Andrejčáková) about the current status of secular humanists in our society and about their possible participation in the cultural and public educational activities, as well as in charity projects.(NE)

26.)
June 24. Resolution on necessity of separation of state and church- sent to the president of Slovak republic, chairman of National Assembly of SR, prime minister SR, deputy prime ministers Mrs K.Tothová, and Mr.J. Kálman, to Clubs of MP in the parliament, and to ministry of culture. (NE)

27.)
July 10. Letter to prime minister V. Mečiar with the resolution on necessity of separation of state and church with request of taking into account the principles expressed in the resolution on behalf of citizens claiming no religious affiliation. (NE)

28.)
August 3.Club of Prometheus Society in Prešov sent a letter of protest concerning the racially motivated murder of G.M. Gorel, citizen of Romany origin in Žiar nad Hronom. This protest was broadcast by radio on August 3,1995.

29.)
August Club of Prometheus Society in Banská Bystrica published an OPEN LETTER to parents, pupils and students. The letter points out that pressures is being exerted on citizens since their birth and early age to accept a definite religious belief, which is contrary to Constitution and the principles of freedom of thought and belief.

30..)
November 9. The presidium of the Prometheus Society sent a letter to the director of Slovak Television - Mr. J. Darmo asking him to give some room also to needs of citizens claiming no religious affiliation in Television programmes, because such is the duty of a public corporation like the Slovak Television -in accordance with binding international documents.- and asking him to give an appointment for a delegation of PS-- NO ANSWER WHATSOEVER RECEIVED ! (NE)

1996

31.)
March 28. The Council of local Club of Prometheus Society in Bratislava addressed the undertaker firm of Bratislava City "MARIANUM" criticising the fact that at civil ceremonies of burials in Crematorium Christian symbols like crucifix are regularly used, which contradicts the desire and rights of nondenominational deceased people and their family. (Press release on it appeared in the daily "VEČERNÍK" on April 4, 1996.) The manager of Marianum answered by her letter of May 5, 1995 with a promise of investigate into the issue and make amendments.. (Random check-ups have shown, that nothing has been changed and civil burials in the Crematorium continue being performed in a room exhibiting a big two meter high crucifix ) (NE)
 
32.)
April 3. The chairman of Prometheus Central Council met the deputy prime minister Mr. J. Kalman and asked him for support to activities and vocations of Prometheus Society

33.)
May 9. Proclamation of members in Club of Bratislava at the occasion of 52.-th anniversary of liberating Slovakia and the victory over fascism . The proclamation criticises the fact that the relevant organs of state tolerate propagating and glorifying the war-time clerofascist Slovak state and its political representatives

1997

34.)
July 7. .. The board of Prometheus Society sent a letter of protest to the mayor and delegates of municipality in Čajakovce against erecting monuments commemorating A Hlinka and J Tiso. The first was the spiritual father of transforming The Hlinka´s People Party into a party of Hitler´s National Socialist Party pattern, the second compromised himself as president of the clerofascist war-time Slovak state.

35.)
August 5. Letter of Central Committee of Prometheus Society to the minister of education Mrs. E. Slavkovská concerning the publication which could serve as teaching aid in the subject of ethics , published by publishing Co Škoda in co-operation with Prometheus Society. No answer whatsoever received. A reminder of December 9 was answered saying that the submitted book had been lost. (M. Jakubomčová ) On June 13, 1998 new reminder . The ministry failed to answer (NE)

36.)
September 3. Letter of Central Committee Prometheus Society to minister of culture Mr. J. Hudec, concerning the Treaty with Holy See currently under preparation. The answer of September 22 was a refusal of our comments.(NE)

37.)
September 16. Letter of our member R. Škoda to president of Slovak republic, protesting against dedicating the Slovak republic to Saint Virgin Mary because it contradicts the Constitution law of Slovakia.. No reply (NE)

38.)
September 21.Proclamation of the Central Committee Prometheus Society concerning criteria for candidates to presidency (criticising demands of politicians in which they repeatedly had claimed that it should be a personality with Christian orientation) All this is discriminating other religious orientations and citizens with no religious affiliation- putting them in a position of apartheid.

1998.

39.)
January 27. On January 24 there was a speech by cardinal J.Ch . Korec broadcast on TV in which he expressed himself in a debasing way about all other except "Christian" cultures. The same words were repeatedly broadcast in the programme " KROKY " ( "on the move" ) on January 25, 1998. The board of Prometheus protested against broadcasting such outrageous vilification

( Sent to Slovak Television in Bratislava.) No reply (NE)

40.)
February 3. The Central Committee of Prometheus Society asked the Ministry of culture a subsidy for organising a Seminar at the occasion of the 180-th anniversary of Slovak Humanist J. Horárik

( from Foundation: PROSLOVAKIA ) The answer was negative even after the second attempt directly addressed to the minister personally. (NE )

41.)
November 7. Communiqué of participants to Seminar CHURCH and POLITICS about the state- church relations , in which they demand to make the preparation for the Treaty of Slovakia with the Holy See transparent and to organise public discussion on the item. ( sent to Press agency of SR, Ministry of culture of SR, Slovak Radio ,and privately operated : Radio Regina, Radio Twist, Television Markiza ( None of them dared to publish it (NE)

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