The 1568 act of the parliament of Transylvania, called the Diet of the country, declared legal protection for the freedom of conscience and religion in a way that was unknown before in the world. This declaration laid the foundation of the only religious denomination established on Hungarian land: the first Unitarian church in the world. At the same time, the law transformed Transylvania into a home for the religious freedom and tolerance of its times.
After being persecuted throughout four hundred years for believing differently, and finally being cut up in parts in its organization by the treaty of Trianon in 1920, the conditions of the European Union in the 21st century brought new possibilities for the structural unification of the Unitarians in the Carpathian basin.
Benefiting from these national and international chances, and being encouraged by the heritage of the 450 years of their history, the authorities of the Unitarian churches in both Transylvania (Romania) and Hungary decided to unify their organizations to recreate the institutional and spiritual unity of the Hungarian Unitarian Church. In this appellation, Hungarian is not a reference to a country, but rather the description of its members’ ethnicity, language and culture.
On June 28, 2012 the Synods of both the Transylvanian Unitarian Church and the Unitarian Church in Hungary will meet in a solemn session in Kolozsvar to officially declare the act of the reunification. A new, unified and integrated Church Constitution, as well as a new series of Bylaws and other regulations will be recognized that will manage the operations and supervise the organization of the united church. The current officers of the regional units in both Romania and Hungary will keep their mandate for the next two years, until the general elections planned for late 2014.
The new church constitution, entering into force following the session of the Synod, calls the Headquarters of the denomination being located in Kolozsvar, while the offices in Budapest will serve as headquarters of the district in Hungary. The territorial unit in Hungary will be the 7th district of the church organization, retaining some functional, organizational, financial and economic preferences compared to the other six districts. Its clerical leader called vicar and lay leader called lay president will be in the executive committee of the denomination. The seat of the one bishop, and two lay presidents, will continue to be in Kolozsvar.
On June 28, the meeting of the Synod will be opened by a business session aiming to adopt the new church legislation. In the evening, a special worship service will be held in the First Unitarian Church to celebrate the event. On June 29 and 30, the General Assembly of the new church will hold its first annual meeting, evaluating the activities of the last year, and planning the upcoming events of the following year.
Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists all over the world – come be part of our celebration in the spirit of our shared faith. Then come be part of our efforts in strengthening the old-and-new church community, in the spirit of a shared vision!
Kolozsvar, June 20, 2012.
The Consistory of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church
A letter of congratulations from the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Rev. Peter Morales, will be read during the ceremony marking the integration.