Reformed Church in Hungary

Reformed Church in Hungary

The Hungarian Reformed Church (Magyarországi Református Egyház in Hungarian) is a key representative of the Magyar Christianity, being numerically the second-largest denomination in Hungary, after the Roman Catholic Church, and the biggest denomination among ethnic Hungarians in Romania.


During the Reformation, Hungary was struggling to resist the influence of the Austrian and Holy Roman Empires.

Some German-speaking students from Hungary in Wittenberg brought Lutheran ideas to their home in 1524. In order to gain support Ferdinand I and Maximilian II (1564-76) allowed some nobles and cities to choose their religion.Most of the Germans adopted the Lutheran doctrines and organized their church at the Synod of Erdod, in 1545, while the Magyars organized their church at the Synod of Czenger in 1557, and at the Debrecen Synod of 1567 the Helvetic Confession was adopted.

When in 1606 Emperor Rudolph II suppressed religious liberty, Prince István Bocskay of Transylvania, allied with the Ottoman Turks, achieved autonomy for Transylvania, including guaranteeing religious freedom in the rest of Hungary for a short time. Then, religious persecution lasted until the mid-19th century.

The Church was closely linked with Hungarian nationalism, attaining full liberty in the revolutionary year of 1848. The revolt was decisively put down by the Habsburgs, but the 1867 accord with Austria, resulting in the dual monarchy, gave near-independence to Hungary. After WWI, Transylvania was incorporated into Romania, dividing the Church. The church struggled for its survival during the Communist regime, especially after the 1956 Revolution. Emigration also helped to spread the Reformed faith of the Hungarians throughout the world.



The Reformed Church in Hungary is the only Reformed church with an episcopal form of church government. Today (2005) there are 22 Hungarian Reformed denominations. The Reformed Church in Hungary consists of four Districts headed by Bishops, almost 30 presbyteries with 1,500 churches, with a membership of around 2.4 million. There is a fraternal body, the World Federation Reformed Hungarians, with members in about 20 countries. The RCH is member of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the World Council of Churches.

Hungarian Churches in addition to RCH

*Reformed Church in Hungary
*Reformed Church in Romania - with two districts (Transylvania and Oradea/Nagyvarad 'Kiralyhagomelleki'), 725,000 members in almost 800 parishes.
*Slovakian Reformed Christian Church - Komarno (Komárom)
*Reformed Church in Carpathian Ukraine - Beregovo (Beregszász)
*Yugoslavian Reformed Christian Church - Feketics
*Hungarian Reformed Christian Church in Croatia - Kopács (Kopacevo)
*Slovenian Reformed Church - Szécsiszentlászló
*Hungarian Reformed Pastoral Ministry in Western Europe - based in Lund, Sweden, serving the Hungarian Diaspora in Europe
*Hungarian Reformed Church in America - Poughkeepsie, N.Y
*Calvin Synod Conference of the United Church of Christ, Perth Amboy, N.J.
*Hungarian Reformed Church in Canada - Delhi, Ontario
*South-American Hungarian Reformed Church - Buenos Aires
*Hungarian Reformed Church of Australia - Victoria, Australia
*Christian Reformed Church of Brazil - São Paulo

External links

*Official site [] (in Hungarian)
*Hungarian Reformed Church in America []
*Calvin Synod of the UCC []

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