Almost 400 churches and properties of the Transylvanian Reformed Church have been or are being renovated with the support of the Hungarian Government, the Bishop Béla Kató of the Transylvanian Reformed Church Diocese (known by its Hungarian acronym of EREK), said on Thursday. Bishop Kató made the announcement in a speech to the General Assembly of EREK, the Hungarian News Agency MTI reported.
“While the pandemic raged, due to the epidemiological restrictions, the number of church services fell significantly; fortunately, construction was not hindered during this period, and almost 400 churches are in the process of being renovated or already completed,” the bishop said. “With the planned developments, expansions and refurbishments finished, all the schools of the Transylvanian Reformed community have a fresh future ahead of them,” the church leader said.
According to the website of the diocese, with the help of Hungarian funds, the construction of an education center is also about to begin in the city of Bánffyhunyad (Huedin, Heynod), located 48 kilometers west-northwest of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca). Furthermore, in the city of Marosvásárhely (Târgu-Mureş, Neumarkt), both an elementary and a vocational school of the Reformed Church will be built.
“However, we all need to know that no matter how generously the Hungarian state supports our endeavors, the donations alone would not be enough without a community that wants to build and also renew its life according to Christian values,” Béla Kató said.
As last year’s meeting had to be canceled, the General Assembly of EREK gathered on Thursday in the historic Farkas Street Reformed Church in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) to evaluate the events and activities of the past two years.
The Hungarian Secretary of State for Ecclesiastical and Ethnic Relations of the Prime Minister’s Office, Miklós Soltész, also attended the event; in his greeting speech, he talked about the great responsibilities of Christians and conveyed Hungary’s further intention to provide sufficient resources for “the Transylvanian Reformed Community to be able to build itself spiritually.” This year, the Hungarian government will again provide significant financial support to the diocese, donating nearly HUF 1 billion for the renovation of EREK churches.
Title image: Béla Kató, the bishop of the Transylvanian Reformed Diocese, greets the plenary meeting of the General Assembly of the Diocese in the Farkas Street Reformed Church in Kolozsvár