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A Christian country

Hungary has emerged to statehood by its adoption of western Christianity at the end of the first millennium. The foundations of the structure of the Catholic Church were laid by Saint Steven (997-1038), the first king of Hungary, who founded ten dioceses. The (claim of the) "patronate", that is the royal (state) care of spiritual issues remained firm throughout the late 20th century. Whereas Hungarian history is determined be the adherence to the Latin Church, Orthodox minorities have been present in Hungary throughout the country’s history. The Reformation reached the country when the central state power was weak and so it was highly successful in the 16th century. The Reformed (Calvinist-Presbyterian) Church became the birthplace of the national culture (Bible-translations, schools etc.). The Counter-reformation achieved success, but the country has preserved a high level of denominational pluralism. A generally tolerant approach in religious issues is deeply rooted in Hungarian society. The coexistence of Catholics and Protestants (mainly Calvinists who often regard themselves as the "Church of the nation") was not always free of conflicts but it proved to be a fertilizing tension enriching the national and everyday culture.

D 20 September 2012    ABalázs Schanda

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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