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Speaking at the festive assembly of the Transcarpathian Reformed Church, Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, said that “our long history has shown that the depth of Christian faith is the key to survival in these times”.
At the festive general assembly of the Transcarpathian Reformed Church (TRC), newly elected Bishop Sándor Zán Fábián took the oath of office, as well as the officers elected to the church in December 2022.
Welcoming the participants of the assembly, held in the Reformed Church of Berehovo, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás said that the biblical inscription in memory of the victims of the 1956 shooting in front of the Parliament building – “We will persecute, but not abandon; we will trample on, but not take away” – gained meaning with the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the fall of communism.
For more than a century, the fate of Hungarians has not been the same as that of Hungary. The Basic Law adopted in 2011 made it clear that all Hungarians are responsible for all Hungarians, and therefore the Hungarian state must act “with the principle of a united Hungarian nation in mind”, the minister underlined.
Gergely Gulyás recalled that Sándor Zán Fábián had already stressed at his episcopal swearing-in ceremony in 2015 that Hungary bears responsibility for the Hungarian communities living outside our borders. Today, the problem is even greater, the situation is more serious, “the episcopal ministry is an even heavier cross”.
The Hungarians of Transcarpathia are in the most difficult situation of all the communities that make up the world community of Hungarians. “We are helping the Hungarian community of Transcarpathia, while at the same time we are supporting Ukraine”, Gergely Gulyás said. He said Russia had attacked its heroically defending neighbor in defiance of international law. Hungary condemns the aggression, “we bow our heads before all soldiers fighting for their country and freedom”, and we sympathize with the bereaved families of their loved ones.
The suffering of Ukraine is shared by all national communities living there, and Hungary is welcoming hundreds of thousands of refugees. “We are proud of the Hungarian institutions in Transcarpathia, which have been making huge efforts since the beginning of the war to care for refugees from the war zone”, said Gergely Gulyás.
He pointed out that the value of Hungarian humanitarian aid has exceeded 31 billion forints (EUR 79 million) since the beginning of the war, and charitable organizations have so far delivered 3,500 tonnes of donations worth more than eight billion forints to Ukraine.
Gergely Gulyás thanked TRC for its contribution to the delivery of aid and highlighted the excellent working relationship with the Transcarpathian county leadership, which he said was one of the exceptions. Hungary would like to be a friend of Ukraine, “but today this is made difficult by deliberate misunderstandings and actions that violate the rights of the Hungarian community”, he pointed out.
While Ukraine invokes international law to complain about violations of its sovereignty, it is not right to “ignore the fundamental rights and international norms of the national minorities living on its territory”, the minister pointed out. Those Hungarian men who fight under the Ukrainian flag “have earned the right to be considered by this country as their own, as members of the Hungarian community”.”Our long history has shown that the depth of Christian faith is the key to survival in these times,” he said. We must have faith that we can save or restore the communities, families, “the church and the school”, which provide the framework for Hungarian life in Transcarpathia.
In his closing remarks, Bishop Zán Fábián Sándor called 2023 the year of hope and said that we should pray for the revival of the dying communities in Transcarpathia. He said that all wars will end and peace will come. “Until then, we must stand as disciples, as people, for each other and against no one, relying on God’s promises and praying for the Holy Spirit,” the Bishop of the TRC said.
Featured Photo: Facebook Gergely Gulyás