Hands Across The Water: Our Partner Church in Budapest
Modern Unitarianism has its origins in 16th century Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. The name Unitarian comes from one of the founding beliefs, that God is one (not three persons in one, as Trinitarianism has it). Another founding belief stemming from our Transylvanian roots is that no one has the moral right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. We are committed to religious freedom.
With several of our theological and philosophical roots in that area of the world, it is not surprising that we take an ongoing interest in European Unitarianism. During the Ceausescu regime in Romania, the Hungarian-speaking community (much of it Unitarian) in Transylvania was severely persecuted. Little could be done while Ceausescu remained in power. However, after his regime was replaced, a major Partner Church Program was initiated by the Unitarian Universalist Association in North America to provide recovery support to Transylvanian and Hungarian Unitarianism.
Toronto First is “partnered” with the Béla Bartók Unitarian Church of Budapest, which is also known as Budapest Second Unitarian.
The ministers at our partner church have visited us twice (in 2001 and 2005) and attended the Canadian Unitarian Council annual meeting. Many members of Toronto First have visited our partner church, some as individuals and some on one of the three group tours. Plans for another visit from our Hungarian partners are under way.
To learn more about the Unitarian Church in Hungary, visit Magyarországi Unitárius Egyház.