The dialogue between cultures, the role of education in integration, the relationship of church and the Roma community, as well as job creation were among the topics discussed by the participants of the Roma mission consultation held at the Budapest office of the Reformed Church of Hungary.
The Reformed Church in Hungary had resolved to make considerable contributions to the work of Hungary’s rotating EU presidency – which has just ended – with an emphatic presence and the organisation of events related to the themes of the presidency.
A conference entitled “The Role of Churches in Social Reconciliation in East-Central Europe: Central Europe as a Model of Religious Diversity” was organised by the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Hungary (ECCH), the foundation called Reconciliation in South East Europe (RSEE), and the Budapest office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) between 10-12 March 2011.
Not only is Europe the meeting point of nations, it is also where the greatest conflicts among those nations take place. Not only has it been the birthplace of grand ideas and thoughts over the centuries of world history, but also the home of ideologies capable of vanquishing or even destroying peoples and nations.
On 22 May 2009, the Hungarian Reformed Church celebrating its constitution opened the doors to the 21st century for our communities. Christ is the future, together we follow him! This faith clearly designates Christ as the Lord of the Christian community, but admitting his superiority and trusting in his grace, leaving the exact description of the community to the future.
Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District (in present-day Romania) is quite close to the geometric centre of historical (pre-1920) Hungary. Nevertheless, as a consequence of the drastic reduction of Hungary’s borders by the Treaty of Trianon, we can no longer really say that we belong to the eastern section of Central Europe.
Not many of us are aware of the fact that the responsible participants of the Debrecen Synod (1567), an important event in the forming of the Hungarian Reformed Church1, already took the issue of Gypsies into consideration.
In spite of what the public thinks, Gypsies have never really been a uniform group. What is more, they are not even likely to have been one people in the past – states Szilveszter Póczik, a historian-criminologist and the senior scientific representative of the Hungarian National Institute of Crimonology (OKRI).
As regards marriage and families, there is a huge gap between hopes and reality all over Europe. Most of us aim to have a harmonious and balanced family life, however, there have been various obstacles that have led to the destabilisation of the institution of marriage and the disintegration of families.
The attitude of our churches towards Roma people is the same as towards any other group of people: they need to hear the message of the Gospel and experience the love of God in order to change and discover new meanings in their lives, and find their true self-identity through a relationship with God
The political agenda of the Hungarian EU presidency is to be built around the human factor, according to the preliminary document on the priorities of the Hungarian EU presidency, available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“It is not to be taken for granted that Hungary is part of the EU. The presidency should not make us self-righteous. If, however, we as Hungarians can reconcile with God, ourselves and our fellow citizens, we can proudly and boldly stand before Europe as Europeans.”
Central and Eastern Europe is a kind of axis or, to put it in other words, a region of clashes. It was born within Europe’s ever-changing force field of politics and power, swinging between East and West.