7th Hungarian Reformed World Summit

2014. július 17., csütörtök

The 7th Hungarian Reformed World Summit was held on 10 July in Sepsiszentgyörgy, Romania. During this occasion, the General Convent of the Hungarian Reformed Church also held its assembly which was opened by the Transylvanian bishop, Kató Béla. The other important event was the unveiling of a statue of John Calvin for the 450th commemoration of his death.

The situation is serious in Sub-Carpathia

Panorama of the Carpathian Basin. “The Ukrainian Army has already taken Sub-Carpathian Hungarians to the frontline too,” Sándor Zán Fábián, bishop of Sub-Carpathia, said during his report at the General Convent meeting in Sepsiszentgyörgy on Friday.

In a time of war

Before the plenary meeting of the General Convent, Sándor Zán Fábián reported on the effects in Sub-Carpathia due to the Ukrainian situation. The bishop said: the Reformed Church in Sub-Carpathia does not receive any aid from Kiev with which to manage the educational and social tasks that were previously taken over from the State. Despite this, the State has asked the reformed people to purchase bulletproof vests, safety glasses to protect against shrapnel, helmets and military boots. The state bodies count also on our Church to provide for refugees. “We treat the last question in a different way because as Christians, we have a mission towards the persecuted people. However, as Hungarians, we have ambivalent feelings because the Slav population arriving from the East will transform ethnic rates of our region,” flashed a beam of light on the dilemmas the church leader.

 “There are no roads, no public utilities, no public lighting, but our taxes have been increased,” Sándor Zán Fábián said, expressing his indignation. The bishop expounded: “After the midpoint of the year, we have to pay property-tax not only on inhabited areas but on the whole area, too.” There is another unfavourable measure as well: the state lays a luxury tax on the parsonages that were confiscated during the Communist time and which after that we have restored with the help of Hungary and of other countries.

The tremendous inflation affects not only the Church but the people, too: the Ukrainian national currency has lost 35-40% of its value in the past months, the price of a litre of fuel has reached 1 euro. The blockage of Russian gas taps causes a “serious headache,” because with winter approaching, we need to use solid-fuel heating instead of gas-fired heating, but this interchange would cost very much. At the same time, the job opportunities in Russia are no more because of the conflict. Furthermore, many Hungarian husbands have been taken to the Eastern front. Those who can, escape from the draft to Hungary. The Reformed Church is going to try to ease the miserable situation of the families, of the women left at home, of the children and elderly in the winter by providing free meals and firewood.

“The Community of the Hungarian Reformed Church plays a major role ‘in the middle’ of big problems,” emphasized the Sub-Carpathian bishop. He also offered his thanks the Hungarian Reformed Solidarity Fund and the Hungarian Reformed Public Education Fund. The Hungarian Reformed Solidarity Fund ensures the pension of retired Sub-Carpathian pastors and the pastors’ widows thanks to the voluntary payments of the pastors living in Carpathian Basin, while the Hungarian Reformed Public Education Fund contributes to the running of Sub-Carpathian schools. The church leader tendered his thanks the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid, the Hungarian State and the Unity Festival in Debrecen; as well as the participants of the Transdanubian Church Days who aided the service of the Sub-Carpathian Reformed Church with their offerings. Sándor Zán Fábián added finally: in the spirit of the 7th Hungarian Reformed World Summit, they are organising a Family Day in Nagybereg on 23 August, where all Hungarian Reformed people are welcome.

Construction in Transylvania

The agreement signed with HEKS on 10 July in Sepsiszentgyörgy will regulate the cooperation between the Swiss Protestant Aid and the Reformed Church in Romania for the next three years. Béla Kató, Transylvanian bishop said: As a result of many discussions, the partners from Western Europe have realized that the HEKS need to support, in addition to help the social initiatives, the churches, too. According to the agreement, HEKS will provide support in the field of diaconia and further pastor trainings, and it will also help them in the construction of small congregations and in the financing of ministries.

The general Assembly of HEKS was held in Brasov at the same time as the World Summit to express that the Romanian Reformed people are not alone; they are members of a wider family.

According to István Csűry, the bishop of Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District, we need to collaborate in order to resolve the problems in the Partium region. The Lord of peace is in the background of success.

Gottfried Locher, the president of the Swiss Protestant Church Association, is doubly proud: in the one hand of their Aid organisation, in the other hand of their Romanian Reformed friends.

Gusztáv Bölcskei, presiding bishop of the RCH, expressed his pleasure in his festive preaching, because the Hungarian reformed people could be together so often lately. In the organization of such an event, we have to pay attention to lots of things, but the most important is: “‘Open your heart.’ If this does not happen, the organization and the care are of no consequence because the essence does not occur,” – emphasized the pastor.

The world in which we live is a plural, global and assimilating world, so we need the time of reflection which is shining from this event.


 "...we engage ourselves to strengthen our unity through the sharing of Christ's reconciling gospel and service to our nation in order that we too may make God's actions visible."

If you are interested in reading more from the meeting of the General Convent and the Hungarian Reformed World Summit, you can find the closing statement of the Convent here.


Translated by Ágnes Szaszkó

Article excerpts and photos from: Sándor Kiss (Reformátusok Lapja); http://reformatus.ro/

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