Annual Report 2010


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Reformed Church in Hungary

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Annual Report of the Reformed Church in Hungar y Year o orld M W i f 2010 2010 ion ss


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REFORMED CHURCH IN HUNGARY, 2010 Table of Contents 1 5 9 19 23 29 35 43 47 49 53 59 Message of the Presidium of the Synod – Being Christian in a Changing World (Gusztáv Bölcskei) – “The LORD is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer…” (Pál Huszár) The Synod’s Activities in 2010 Main Events in 2010 The Relationship of State and Church Relations Within and Without the Carpathian Basin Partner Church Relations Mission Activities – World Mission – Local Mission Our Church Aid – Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA) – Ecumenical Diaconal Year (EDY) Health Care Services The Church of Young People Education Life of the Reformed Church in Hungary in Numbers


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Message of the Presidium of the Synod Being Christian in a Changing World Twenty years after the political transition that took place in Hungary, we are thankful, despite all the difficulties, for the resulting freedom and the long way we have come since then. The life of our communities and institutions have undergone a transformation, but the foundation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is still the only solid guidance for us amidst all these changes. 1 One of the principal aims of this newly published annual report is to mediate between two distinct views of the church. Many people regard the church as an institution like any other, and rightly expect it to be efficient, self-sufficient and transparent. Others, however, would like to see the church helping people to develop a spiritual foundation, which helps them discover the meaning of life. I personally believe that if the Reformed Church in Hungary is able to adopt both of these perspectives to a certain extent, we are on the right track. The Reformed church is an institution indeed – the annual report as a genre underlines this –, a complex institution in which pastors, lay employees and volunteers work in several professional fields, and we have a duty to report on the results of these activities, to show why they matter, both to ourselves and to others. On the other hand, the church is also something different: it is more than the sum of its institutions or the work that these institutions do. The activities of the church have an additional value that is difficult to express in terms of numbers or efficiency indicators, for the church is not a service in the commercial sense of the word. Our actions are not determined by market analyses or strategic interests, but by the calling and certainty that God redeemed the world through Jesus Christ: He destroyed death, and His grace overcomes all distress and suffering on earth. As servants of Christ, we follow Him and spread the redeeming Word of God, while helping those who are sick or in need, and educating the youth. Therefore, it is by constantly listening to Christ that we can be of most use to humans and humanity. This is the greatest secret of the church. It is His presence in this changing world that provides our church with the opportunities of freedom and efficient service in communities, based on a real understanding of life and people.


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REFORMED CHURCH IN HUNGARY, 2010 Message of the Presidium of the Synod 2010, among other things, was the twentieth anniversary of the political transition in Hungary. This anniversary, as well as this year’s national and international events, gives us reasons to thank our Lord for our redemption, for the new horizons that opened for us two decades ago. Although certain political, economic and social analyses regularly point out the drawbacks of the political transition, and people themselves have mixed feelings about it, I am positive that the church has to consciously stand up for democratic social values and processes. Twenty years ago Hungary was able to leave the house of servitude behind, where the whole community’s life had been dictated by a central will of power. Just like Hungarian society, our church experienced a transition from a complacent but steady atrophy to a state filled with challenges and tensions. After the initial euphoria, this change – quite naturally – proved to be strenuous and risky to all. Therefore, the last twenty years has been a transitional period in many respects, a period of strengthening both in domestic and regional contexts. Recently a new generation has come of age, whose knowledge of the pre-transition era comes solely from history books, while the world view of the older generations is still largely determined by the real or imagined injustices of the former political system. In such a duality, it is the duty of our church to face the past, to reveal how the anti-clerical and destructive mechanisms of the one-party system operated among and within us. At the same time, we need to create and spread the experience of responsible self-determination that stems from the opportunities of freedom and self-sufficiency. One of the recurring questions of the political transition concerns the relationship of state and church. According to public opinion, this is primarily a question of world views, meaning that the state’s attitude towards the church is always determined by the political identity of the ruling party; and vice versa, the church is closer to the parties that proclaim the same values as the church. Conversely, the intentions of our church over the last years have been based on the respect of democratic values. We would like to make it clear for every government: we believe that the only way for us to cooperate with the state is to have a partnership based on mutual respect and regular professional dialogue. We are looking forward to the realization of the above principles in the wake of the general elections of 2010. When we consider the international role of our church in 2010 – the events of the Year of World Mission or the Reformed world community united in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA –, the sense of freedom is even more apparent, with its exciting new dimensions for our church. The past year proved yet again that the Reformed Church in Hungary is a worthy and respected partner in the work of international church organisations. The last few years have confirmed our belief that we, the Hungarian Reformed people in the Carpathian Basin, can be effective and fruitful members of the world not only in our smaller regions, but also on the level of global responsibility and action. Finally, with gratitude for the grace of God, let me present the annual report of the Reformed Church in Hungary for the year 2010. Gusztáv Bölcskei Presiding Bishop of RCH


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“The LORD is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer...” (Psalms 18:2) to achieve this, we have organised missions in big cities as well as in smaller communities. Now, the potential results of our efforts are not up to us: our tasks are planting and watering, and we have faith that our Lord will provide growth. Another issue of special importance is to provide for our system of Reformed schools, as we believe the Reformed Christian education of our youth is the hope for the renewal and strengthening of our church. We would be filled with delight if this system could expand further. Yet, when it comes to the possibility of expansion, we need to be extremely careful. There are numerous local governments in serious financial difficulties that would like to have the church take over their schools, but we must not undertake tasks that we would be unable to fulfil due to insufficient funds or personnel. On 22 May 2009 in the Great Church of Debrecen, we were blessed with the opportunity to sign the Constitution of the Hungarian Reformed Church. What had always belonged together was finally formally united. However, this is not the end of a process, but rather a beginning, as the psalm poet put it – “the LORD has done great things for us.” We intend to strengthen the ties to our Reformed brothers and sisters living outside the borders of Hungary, as we still have a long way to go until we can achieve a true unity. In the spirit of this intention, the number of congregational partnerships reaching across borders has greatly increased recently, which is joyful news. Similarly, there have been more frequent visits, more sermons and lectures delivered by our church leaders in areas of pre-WWI Hungary, since these Reformed communities also require our attention and care. It was a bitter pill for us to swallow that not all of our pastors felt it important to follow the related suggestions of the Synod – in this specific case, the commemoration of 22 May. In the meantime – may God be praised –, the conditions of living in former territories of Hungary have become somewhat more favourable, even if sometimes the opposite seems to be true on the By the infinite grace of our God, the year 2010 was highly eventful, bringing several duties of varying difficulty, as well as plenty of joy, in our efforts to build our church and complete our tasks. We can say with a grateful heart that our Heavenly Father was by our side in all these situations, with His mercy and blissful love. It is only natural that we as a church have always considered it to be our most important mission to spread the Gospel’s message of redemption, as this is what Jesus Christ’s great commission commands us to do. We continue to emphasize the importance of involving our lay members – those who are not theology graduates – in building the kingdom of God, as without them, the church would cease to exist. We also deemed it important to locate and address those who are only “latently” Reformed, since the message of redemption should reach them as well, and we are expected by the Lord to bring this message to those of our brothers and sisters who have lost touch with the Word, or have never had the chance to learn about it. In order 2/3


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REFORMED CHURCH IN HUNGARY, 2010 Message of the Presidium of the Synod surface. First, the borders that were forced upon our country by higher authorities have become less distinct and easier to cross. This year there were no unpleasant consequences of the speeches commemorating 15 March 1848 in Kassa (Košice) and Magyarbőd (Bidovce, both in present-day Slovakia). Likewise, the speakers had no reason to fear reprisals because of the commemoration of the Treaty of Trianon in Érmihályfalva (Valea lui Mihai, present-day Romania) and Beregszász (Berehove, present-day Ukraine), nor did the audience have to hide their enthusiasm. On 16 November 2010, we unveiled the plaque of Gábor Bethlen, the great Reformed Prince of Transylvania (1613-1629), in Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia), the capital of the former Principality of Transylvania. We honoured this historic achievement – worthy to be remembered forever by Reformed Hungarians as well as Hungarians in general – by placing an epitaph between the plaques of György Fráter and Gábor Bethlen. It was uplifting to see how many people came to pay their respects to Bethlen’s memory. We believe that this event was also an opportunity for us to strengthen ourselves by experiencing the faith of others. The annual meeting of the Reformed General Convent was held in Révkomárom (Komárno, Slovakia) in 2010, and this was the first time that we transcended the Trianon borders violently imposed on us. Let us pay tribute to the leaders and members of the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia for undertaking the successful organisation of this event despite the fact that they had to postpone the official joining due to external pressures. Commissioned by the Synod, a committee of historians was set up to investigate and reveal events of the past, more specifically the period of Communist dictatorship in Hungary. Their work is bound to be time-consuming, as it requires careful and detailed research. It is expected that the names of those pastors and other church officials will surface who were, for one reason or another, unable to resist the brutal threats and cruel blackmailing, or those who would not say “no” to the temptation of collaborating with the authorities, and wrote reports about their colleagues, superiors, or even members of their congregation. It is certain that such names of pastors and their superiors will appear, and they will rightfully be condemned by later generations. We will never hear the names of those, however, who were actively engaged in this shameful work, as their anonymity is legally guaranteed, and they can go on living undisturbed, while the fate of their victims is condemnation. We are filled with joy and gratitude towards our Lord that the international perception of the Reformed Church in Hungary has been absolutely positive. The writer of these lines had the honour of being invited to Duisburg, to attend and give a speech at the 400th anniversary Synod of the Rhine Church: he had the chance to share that the so-called “Presbyterian polity,” rediscovered by John Calvin and adopted at the 1610 Synod by the Rhine representatives of the Helvetic Reformation, was also favourably received by the Hungarian Trans-Danubian Reformed community a few years later, after which the first Hungarian session was formed in 1617 in Papa. The economic recession, affecting both our church and the whole of our nation, is not over yet. We are concerned about people’s fears for their jobs and pension. There is an even more serious spiritual burden as a result of an ethical crisis, in which morals are turned upside down, and we are surrounded by gilded but worthless ideas instead of our true Christian values. It is our duty to offer real human and Christian values to as many youngsters as we can possibly reach. Adults have to face similar problems, as they are flooded by commercial images of hoarding and consuming, seduced by a supposedly ideal lifestyle. How great it would be if we could make both young and old aware that the source is help is in God. They refer to the Book of Psalms, chapter 50, verse 15, where we can read the joyful promise of our Heavenly Father: “and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” May the Almighty God allow us to undertake our future activities in the spirit of this message, so that we can fulfil our duties of continually building the church. Pál Huszár Lay President of the RCH


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The Synod’s Activities in 2010


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REFORMED CHURCH IN HUNGARY, 2010 The Synod’s Activities in 2010 The Synod, the supreme legislative, decision-making and executive body of the Reformed Church in Hungary held two assemblies in 2010, while the Synod Council, the supreme body responsible for management questions came together four times. To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon – in the middle of the assembly room of the Synod Headquarters, a table symbolising pre-Trianon Hungary and a flower garland in the shape of the Holy Crown of Hungary was displayed at the June Session. June Session Advances in the process of disclosing the past One of the major themes of the fifth, June session of the 13th Synod cycle was the idea of revealing the past. The Synod adopted the Fact-Finding Historian Committee’s rules of procedure. According to Article 1: “The primary goal of the Fact-Finding Historian Committee, as set forth by the Synod, is to investigate and reveal the operational mechanisms of the era’s suppressive organisations in relation to churches. The committee’s research should aim to highlight what methods were used by the system to monitor, restrict and suppress the church and its activities.” A further opportunity for the committee is to “do investigative research into the persons whose names arise during the fact-finding work on the operation of the suppressive system.” The committee shall collect the relevant documents of the given period from various archives, and these documents shall then become a part of the Synod’s Archives in order to enhance further research. The committee shall present quarterly reports, which are not to be disclosed to the public for the time being. The Synod appointed three members


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to participate in the work of the committee: Erzsébet Horváth, Director of the Synod’s Archives, Dénes Dienes, Director of the Scientific Collections of the Reformed College in Sárospatak, and István Szabadi, Director of the Archives of the Transtibiscan Reformed Church District. Furthermore, the Synod resolved, in order to enhance the work of the fact-finding committee, to set up an Evaluating Committee, whose members are respected and trusted by all. Each church district shall delegate one person to become a member of the Evaluating Committee. Standardised Continuing Education of Pastors The Synod also addressed the question of pastors’ further training: a credit system widespread in other areas shall be introduced (this shall include the trainings that are related to the work of pastors). Pastors are eligible to receive eight days of paid training leave a year, at least four of which are to be spent completing a formal further training. The commemoration continued the same way as it did in 1920. By reading the minutes that describe scene by scene what had happened ninety years ago, it was revealed that the assembly turned to the League of Nations and the League of Nations-Union with a short memorandum, in which they asked the two organisations to guarantee the organic unity of the Hungarian Reformed Church. Following these memories from 1920, István Csűry, Bishop of the Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District addressed the members of the Synod: “We all know that we do not act based on our own talents and determination: You are Christ – say the disciples on the boat caught in a storm, and this is what gives us strength as well.” The last section of the commemoration was dedicated to presenting the resolutions of the Synod that – with the words of Gusztáv Bölcskei – “prove that we can all breathe again in the same rhythm.” According to one of these, from now on it is not only Hungarian citizens that can become pastors in the territory of the Reformed Church in Hungary, but any pastor that belongs to the unified Hungarian Reformed Church. Commemoration of the 90th Anniversary of Trianon The last day of the spring session fell on the day of the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon (4 June), so the Synod decided to hold a commemoration. The event had a spectacular start: from the table in the middle of the assembly room of the Synod Headquarters, symbolising preTrianon Hungary, a flower garland ascended slowly, forming the shape of the Holy Crown of Hungary. The commemoration was opened by Bishop Gusztáv Bölcskei, Ministerial President of the Synod, with the same prayer that was told nearly ninety years ago during the first Synod assembly following Trianon. “Dear Lord! Our Almighty Father! Here we are today, sailors on the wreck of the Hungarian Reformed church, trying to escape from the stormy sea and the wrath of violent winds. Our self-made ropes and sails are torn, the mast is broken, and we cry out for Your help, asking to be spared. The wars of tribulations are beyond our powers, our enemies both inside and outside are stronger than us, and we have no chance of defeating them on our own,” began the entreaties of the then Presiding Bishop, Dezső Baltazár on 28 Sept 1920. November Session Seven Years in the Spirit of Reconciliation The Synod assembly addressed the issue of fact-finding again, in the form of the report presented by the Fact-Finding Historian Committee (FFHT) founded in September. The Synod approved the appointment of Zoltán Boér, Zalán Bognár and Sarolta Fodorné Nagy to provide assistance to the fact-finding activities of the committee. During the legislation phase of the session, the Synod adopted the preliminary materials prepared for the law on the legal status of pastors, as well as a draft of the same law. The board discussed a draft of the law on management, and resolved to create a new law based on the now adopted draft, instead of amending the existing legislation. Those who proposed this new law were primarily motivated by the desire to create uniform directives and criteria for the community and institutions of the church. 6/7


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REFORMED CHURCH IN HUNGARY, 2010 The Synod’s Activities in 2010 A solemn occasion during the autumn session was when the awards established by the Synod were presented. The persons to be awarded had been determined by the members of the Synod in the June session. In 2010, the Dobos Károly Pastor Award was presented to Ferenc Bíró, retired pastor of Budapest-Mátyásföld. The Imre Sándor Award – for advancing the cause of Reformed schools – was presented to Péter Hoppál, Member of Parliament. This year, two professors were awarded the Golden Ring Theology Doctoral title. One of them was Géza Boross, who passed away in October 2010, and the other was Dezső Buzogány, Professor in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca, Romania). The Theologian of Golden Certificate title was awarded to Károly Sepsy, retired pastor and organist, as well as Pál Németh, pastor and Islamic researcher. The Diaconal awards were also announced and presented. Gézáné Bodolay and Jánosné Köles received the Kiss Ferenc Award, while Istvánné Nagy and Miklósné Ungvári received the Juhász Zsófia Award. One of the most important decisions made by the Synod was the resolution that the seven-year period beginning with 2011 shall be devoted to the spirit of reconciliation. The members of the Synod also agreed that the paper called Református Egyház [Reformed Church] shall not be published any more in its current form, but shall take on the function of the RCH’s journal in the future. The other functions of the sixty-three year old paper shall be taken on by other publications. Synod Council Transforming the Pension Scheme of Pastors Regarding the transformation of the Pension Scheme of Pastors, the resolution adopted by the Synod Council states that the pension for the members of the RCH’s Pastor Pension Institution, after they have completed their period of employment, is guaranteed by the Reformed Church in Hungary. The RCH shall arrange for them to be eligible for the minimum state pension, and they shall also receive the church supplementary pension. The central idea of the transformation concerns the strengthening of the profitable segregated pension fund, apart from the contributions paid according to the “pay as you go” pension scheme and the church supplementary pension paid annually by the RCH. The council stated that the transformation’s time schedule and the necessary modifications of regulations need to be drawn up, and preliminary measures need to be taken regarding the transformation of the pension institution. The RCH Takes Over the Operation of the SDG Conference Centre The Synod Council resolved that the church should take over the SDG Conference Centre in Balatonszárszó from January 2011. At the same time, a thematic and professional concept needs to be prepared on how to utilise the property in the mid to long term. On the recommendation of the council, the Synod temporarily suspended the autonomy of the conference centre in terms of church law.


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Main Events in 2010


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REFORMED CHURCH IN HUNGARY, 2010 Main Events in 2010 Commemoration on the 150th Anniversary of the Protest against the Protestant Patent “In the name of the Emperor of Emperors, I hereby declare the meeting open!” Tradition has it that one hundred and fifty years ago Péter Balogh Reformed Auxiliary Bishop used these words to open the district general meeting that condemned the decrees of the Habsburg imperial patent which discriminated against Protestants. A nation-wide series of protests ensued, and the Emperor was forced to revoke the decree. It was this event that was commemorated at the location of the meeting, in the Small Church of Debrecen, on 9 January with a worship of praise and thanksgiving. The sermon was delivered by Gusztáv Bölcskei, Bishop of the Transtibiscan Reformed Church District. Richárd Hörcsik, Professor at the Debrecen Reformed Theological University gave a lecture on the events that took place one and a half centuries ago. The Protestant Patent was issued by the Austrian government on 1 September 1859. It was used and enforced until 15 May 1860, when – pressured by the protests – the king issued a handwritten note, declaring a return to pre-1848 legal conditions. Revival of the Parochial Library In 2007, the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary adopted a resolution to resume the publication of the so-called Parochial Library series cancelled decades ago. The volumes of the series will be published over the next few years, in connection with the Calvin Memorial Years (20092014). As part of the series, Calvin’s Bible commentaries on the New Testament will be published in a planned 14 volumes. It is expected that by the end of 2013 the rest of the New Testament commentaries will have come out, and in 2014 an annotated version of Institutio’s new translation will be published by Calvin Press. According to the Synod’s resolution, Hungarian Reformed congregations will be able to purchase Parochial Library volumes for a symbolic price. New Publication of the Institutio On 25 February, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary hosted a book launch, where two books were presented: John Calvin’s Az keresztény religióra és az igaz hitre való tanítás (Institutio, translated by Albert Szenci Molnár, Hanau, 1624, facsimile edition), as well as “Biblia Hungarica Philologica – Magyarországi bibliák a filológiai tudományokban” [Bibles from Hungary in Philology]. Charity Ball in Debrecen The Transtibiscan Reformed Church District held a charity ball on 19 February in Debrecen, to help a struggling institution, the Rozsnyó Reformed Elementary School in the region of Felvidék, Slovakia. Year after year, this school has had to struggle for survival, as the congregation that it belongs to is unable to provide for the development and maintenance of the institution, nor can it afford to supply the necessary teaching aids. The roof insulation is leaking, the doors and windows are worn, the facilities are out of date, and there is no gymnasium. During the 3rd Reformed Charity Ball, 1.2 million HUF was raised, and this sum was sent to the Rozsnyó Reformed Elementary School via the Alma Mater programme of the Reformed Church Aid. Calvin Commemorative Medal to István Monok During the book launch at Károli University, Reformed Bishop Gusztáv Bölcskei presented István Monok, former Director General of the National Széchényi Library with a commemorative medal. This was an expression of gratitude towards the former Director General, who for several years provided assistance in preserving and disseminating Reformed cultural heritage.


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Preparations are Underway for the New Hungarian Reformed Hymn Book On 23 February 2010, the Hymn Book Committee of the Reformed Church in Hungary was founded. The committee is responsible for the preparatory work on the new hymn book. The eight members of this body represent the opinions of their own church districts, and also integrate the knowledge and experience that have accumulated over the last fifty years in the Reformed Church in Hungary in connection with Reformed hymns and singing. The committee has created a detailed system of criteria that will provide the basis of their work. The new hymn book will only be truly meaningful in the community and unity of the Carpathian Basin. This activity is related to the revision of the Book of Order within the General Convent, supervised by the Liturgy Committee. Hungarian Seminarians in Kenya Thanks to the organising work of Budapest pastors and theologians, a group of Seminarians from Debrecen, Pápa, Sárospatak and Budapest participated in a missionary study visit to Kenya. The journey started on 3 March, and the Seminarians were the guests of the St. Andrew Presbyterian congregation in Kenya. They visited the Presbyterian University as well as a secondary school supported by the congregation. In Hawa, they went to a home for street children, and they also visited a home for children with HIV. During their trip, they also reached Mashuru, a territory where the Maasai tribe lives. 10/11


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REFORMED CHURCH IN HUNGARY, 2010 Main Events in 2010 The Educational Programme of the Vilmány Congregation Received EU Subsidy Since 2006, a programme called “Esélyt adunk” (“Providing a Chance”) in the Cistibiscan Reformed Church District has helped several congregations to form a loose network of mutual support, and in February 2010, it reached another milestone. This was when a EU subsidy contract was signed, regarding a section of the Vilmány series of programmes, which operates as a central model programme. Within the TÁMOP (Social Renewal Operative Programme) system, a so-called “Tanoda” [School] will operate in Vilmány for two years. The aim of this school is to enhance the integration of children with multiple disadvantages, to help with their learning and personal development, to encourage them to enter higher education, and as a result provide better opportunities for them in the labour market. It is not only local pastors that assist in the realisation of the programme, but also teachers, special needs teachers and other professionals from local or nearby congregations. Day of Hungarian Reformed Unity On 22 May we celebrate the common Constitution of the Reformed communities in the Carpathian Basin. The Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary decided that from 2010 on, the Sunday closest to 22 May shall be the Day of Hungarian Reformed Unity. One element of the celebration was the fact that on 23 May during the Pentecost worship, the same hymn and prayer could be heard in each and every Reformed church, symbolising unity. Several pastors from different parts of the Carpathian Basin visited and served in other congregations, which enhances the building of new relationships. To provide a tangible symbol for such new relationships, a special postcard was issued, and members of congregations could send one of these abroad or within national borders to another Hungarian Reformed person, showing this way that we belong together, as well as reminding each other of the historic event of unification. New Memorial in Fehérgyarmat On 5 June 2010, one day after the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, there was a ceremony in Fehérgyarmat, where a new memorial was presented, called Community of Reformed Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin, symbolising the unity and confession of Hungarian Reformed people declared in Debrecen the previous year. The idea came from the message of the Debrecen events, and this was moulded into a physical shape by Lajos Bíró, a sculptor from Mátészalka. The memorial was placed in the heart of the city, in the Kossuth Park, with the Reformed church in the background.


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Church Persecution and Church Persecutors in the Kádár Era On 6-7 May 2010 in Budapest, a conference entitled Church Persecution and Church Persecutors in the Kádár Era was held at the Sapientia College of Theology. One of the speakers of the event was István Szabó, Bishop of the Danubian Reformed Church District, who pointed out in his presentation: “When investigating the past, we must not overlook what is evident. One such evident fact is that there was church persecution in Hungary during the Communist dictatorship, and a second one is that churches suffered in multiple ways as a result. A third one tells us that no reconciliation has come about so far, although there have been attempts at that, and a fourth one is that church persecution was present not only in a legal or political level but also on an intellectual one, and while the dictatorship has ceased to exist, its essence has not evaporated yet.” The conference was jointly organised by the historical Christian churches of Hungary, and the speakers included Péter Erdő, Archbishop, Cardinal. István Szabó, Bishop of the Danubian Reformed Church District Exhibition on Melanchthon, Hungary’s Teacher An exhibition was organised in the Reformed College of Debrecen, entitled Melanchthon and Hungarians, featuring the significance of Melanchthon – a prominent figure of Protestantism, Calvin’s friend – and his influence on Hungary. The Year of Calvin (2009) was followed by the Year of Melanchthon; the memory of this great teacher of Germany was celebrated in his home and all over the world. The exhibition was international, organised in association with the Melanchthon Academy in Bretten. In the 16th century, over a thousand Hungarian students attended the University of Wittenberg, and four hundred and thirty of them were students of Melanchthon. He maintained a regular contact with the association of Hungarian students – and this is how he earned the name: Hungary’s Teacher. 12/13 Formation of the Reformed Memorial Place Committee The formation of the Reformed Memorial Place Committee is the realisation of a long-held desire: it aims to discover memorial places related to our Reformed predecessors and collect information on them, from the period of Reformation until the present day. Each church district delegated two people to become members of the body. 1st Convention of Trans-Danubian Reformed Medical Doctors A hundred Trans-Danubian Reformed medical doctors attended the convention organised by the Trans-Danubian Reformed Church District, which is the first in a series of conferences that aim to address the Reformed intellectual community of the TransDanubian region.



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