The Reformation was a determining event from the perspective of the Hungarian people, and Protestantism remains a living part of the Hungarian lifestyle and identity to this day”, Minister of Agriculture Sandor Fazekas said on Tuesday in Karcag at an event held to Reformation Memorial Year.

At the official inauguration of the Szekler Gate next to the Great Church of Karcag’s Reformed Congregation, Mr. Fazekas said: “In these hours and minutes, the Hungarian peoples of the world are also celebrating, even in the furthers corners of the Earth”. “The Hungarian people cannot in fact be characterised in any other way than as Protestants, Catholics, Lutherans, or members of another religious community”, he added. “One of the reasons the Hungarian people were able to survive for such a long time ‘during centuries of bloody war’ is that they always found their communities and churches to help them what was happening around the world in difficult times”, the Minister stressed.

DownloadPhoto: Zoltán Kovács

Mr. Fazekas said the past 500 years, in which protestant statesmen, monarchs, generals and martyrs held their own, were the determinative years of Hungarian history. The Reformation is also determinative from the perspective of the Hungarian language, since we “still speak the language of Gáspár Károli and János Arany today”, and this is also the language we think and write in, he continued, adding that the Reformation plays a significant role in Karcag, the capital of Kumania, which is one of Hungary’s strongest protestant regions, as well as in the Trans-Tisza region and in Hajdú-Bereg and Szabolcs-Szatmár Counties.

“The Szekler Gate also represents an open gate towards Szeklerland, which is also one of the bastions of Protestantism”, the Minister stressed. “The Gate also reminds us of solidarity, in view of the fact that the Szeklers fought for freedom and national independence for centuries, just like the Kumans and the Hajdús”, he added. “If needed they took up arms, and if needed they donated and made financial sacrifices to enable the country’s continued existence”, he said.

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Mr. Fazekas also spoke about the fact that the world is undergoing a process of transformation, “storm clouds are brewing on the sky of Christianity”, and this region has already suffered a 150 year period that was already more than enough for a very long time. The Minister called on those present to show solidarity and to stand up for the religious values followed by Protestants and other Hungarians.

At the ceremony, Chairman of the Jász-Kiskum-Szolnok County Council Sándor Kovács said, amongst others, that the Szelker Gate symbolises freedom, and the fact that the Hungarian peoples living in the Carpathian basin had always turned towards each other “with an open gate”.

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Pastor László Egyedi from the Protestant Congregation of Torja declared: “May the gate be a symbol of solidarity and friendship; may it be a historic monument”.

Dean of the Great Church of Karcag’s Reformed Congregation Tibor Koncz held mass, and following the speeches blessed the Szekler Gate, which karcag’S protestant congregation received as a gift from its sister congregation in the Kovászna (Covasna) County town of Torja (Turia), Transylvania, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

(MTI / Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)