We are aware of the fact that this process of union raises questions in national and international background as well. Clicking here, you may get answers to the most freqently asked questions. What is the message of the union to Hungarians and to other national entities? What is the background to and the reasons for the unification? How does the Hungarian Reformed Church realise the European idea in the Carpathian Basin?
What is the Hungarian Reformed Church?
Unity in belief and the solidarity of Hungarian Reformed believers in the Carpathian Basin is an existing and historical relationship; the Hungarian Reformed Church represents the institutionalisation of this community based on Calvinist traditions. The basis of our community is our congregations' loyalty to Christ, the Redeemer. The unity of Hungarian Reformed believers in the Carpathian Basin is primarily realised through a spiritual and content-driven process. As such, it is an inseparable part and consequence of the process focusing on unity and the practice of community which we experience in our Churches' life and which has recently intensified.
What is the background to and the reasons for the current unification?
Since the Reformation the Hungarian Reformed Church has always been on the territory of several countries and various states, in canonical unity, with nationalities in the Carpathian Basin who joined the Reformation. After the Reformation, the parts of the Church which were previously forced to live in organisational dispersion created the full organisational unity of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Debrecen in 1881. The process that has gone from strength to strength by setting up the unified Hungarian Reformed Church has since suffered several significant disruptions. The most painful proved to be the re-drawing of borders following the Treaty of Trianon, which broke our Church up yet again. In spite of the forced dispersion, the Hungarian Reformed Community maintained its unity of faith and theology through its witness and service. When compared to other European and transatlantic reformed churches, this characteristic is of great significance. This is what we made clear on 22 May 2009.
Does the Hungarian Reformed Church want to be a pre-Trianon institution within the European Union?
No. The legal and moral status of Hungarians is determined by other circumstances. At the referendum held in Hungary on 5 December 2004, the citizens of Hungary opted not to support giving dual citizenship to Hungarians living across the borders. Our Churches have since expressed their opinion at every forum on this irresponsible initiative and its devastating result. Similar to the Treaty of Trianon, the 2004 referendum impacted on the lives of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin. The Treaty of Trianon was an unjust, short-sighted and irresponsible decision, akin to the referendum on 5 December 2004. The first was forced upon us externally, while the second was the result of political will created by Hungarian democracy. Still carrying this legacy, the unifying Hungarian Reformed Church is getting prepared for the celebration. Together with the Constitutional Synod we simultaneously say no to the past and yes to the future, which exists only through Christ.
Does the Constitutional Synod carry a critical message for Hungarians?
Yes, a reformer's message. The Constitutional Synod means comfort, clear-cut opinions, hope and a new start. By rejecting dual citizenship Hungary lost its rights, from a moral standpoint, to refer to its alleged or real historical grievances and call for a revision. However, we profess our faith - as we have done throughout the centuries - at the celebratory Constitutional Synod, making it clear that neither political interest nor a majority decision can destroy or take away the faith, love and passion for community of the few. There is no destruction or scandal which the Lord's Grace and Jesus Christ's love and peace cannot heal.
How does the Hungarian Reformed Church realise the European idea in the Carpathian Basin?
The restoration of the Unified Hungarian Reformed Church is a new step taken by European integration. The existence of the European Union means that the Pan-European idea has become reality. This makes intensifying the integration processes natural, and even desirable. As a result of historical developments in the early 21st century, the Hungarian Reformed believers of the Carpathian Basin - apart from Sub-Carpathia, Serbia and Croatia - live in one and the same federation of states, i.e. the European Union. In spite of the borders, the Unified Reformed Church is the realisation of cooperation between people(s) and communities that belong together. Our Church is neither a state nor a political organisation, but always remains a people's church. It is made up of people whom one can meet on ordinary weekdays as citizens of the states of the Carpathian Basin. By citing the right to general freedom of religion and conscience, these Slovakian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and Hungarian citizens declare that in addition to and beyond their identity as a citizen, another historical tradition and a current need exists within them for a Hungarian Reformed Church that represents the fundamental aspects of their religion in its faith.
How does all this support peace between nationalities in the multinational Carpathian Basin?
We are convinced that closer cooperation satisfying the need for community will help the peaceful and respectful co-existence of the peoples in the Carpathian Basin. Looking back we see that societies and institutions created based on the Reformed faith were best able to represent the principles of tolerance and acceptance, as well as religious and ethnic peace in the region. The main message of the Constitutional Synod also expresses this idea: Christ is our future, together we follow Him! We can be only one in Christ; in Him and through Him we can find peace with one another. This is intended for us, Hungarians, who are at odds with our own conscience and, also, for us as the peoples of the Carpathian Basin and Central and Eastern Europe who are at odds with each other. The gospel that the Debrecen Synod also wishes to deliver is the most powerful desire for and message of peace in history.
What social principles does the unifying Hungarian Reformed Church have?
After the formation of the European Union, our Church is responsible for publicly declaring the Lord's liberating will in a Central and Eastern European setting. The unity is not for its own sake, but rather aims at a more authentic preaching of the gospel, to serve those entrusted upon us more efficiently and represent value. The Church regards society as a community in which responsibility for one another by serving our neighbour must be realised. The single political and economic sphere of a unified Europe - focusing particularly on the free movement of labour - justifies unifying our service. In terms of this service, the unified presence of the individual churches of the Hungarian Reformed Church in the Carpathian Basin means solidarity instead of tolerance. We must help peace and justice gain ground to bridge political, social, economic and cultural divisions in order for the central message of the Gospel to be declared both in words and in deeds, as specifically and directly as possible, expressing solidarity with the peoples of the Carpathian Basin.