An extensive renovation program for churches throughout the Carpathian basin was announced by the Hungarian government, guaranteeing the renewal of 400 churches. Among the beneficiaries are 262 Transylvanian churches in over 200 locations, announced Miklós Soltész, the Secretary of State for Churches, Minorities and Civil Affairs.
The secretary attended in a meeting in Nagyvárad/Oradea with the leaders of historic Hungarian churches; Barna Tánczos, Minister of Environment, Water and Forests and member of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ); Ödön Szabó, RMDSZ member of parliament; and Zsolt Matuz, State Secretary of the Ministry of Development, Public Works and Administration.
Miklós Soltész stated that he considers it to be very important that the communities support one another and that the Hungarian government makes it a priority to strengthen the historic churches of Hungarian communities at a time when the existence of Christianity is facing serious challenges. He added that the funding also helps entrepreneurs who are specialized in the renovation of churches. The complete budget of the program is close to HUF 3.5 billion and will allow for rapid intervention and renovation of churches in need of work.
Barna Tánczos expressed his pleasure with this latest round of assistance for Transylvanian Hungarians, following the Hungarian government programs for building kindergartens and nursery schools and for supporting sports and culture. The RMDSZ minister found it critical that funding is used in the most effective way possible to ensure the survival of Hungarian culture. The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania will also support, as much as possible, the strengthening of Hungary’s historical churches in the region, he stated.
Gergely Kovács, the Roman Catholic Archbishop from Gyulafehérvár, expressed his appreciation for the support, saying that the church feels that elected leaders in both Romania and Hungary are taking a serious stand for churches and families during this difficult time of the pandemic. He also said it is an important result that per the request of the archdiocese of Gyulafehérvár/Alba-Iulia and with the mediation of RMDSZ, after having to forego it last year, the Romanian government has allowed for the Csíksomlyó Pilgrimage to be organized.
Featured photo: reformed church in Kőrösfő