Hungarian Nationalism and Calvinism (02:15)
Calvinism is crucial to Hungary's national traditions and their revival after the overthrow of Communism. Bishop Laszlo Ravasz's efforts to unify the Hungarian Reformed Church helped create national culture.
Political History (01:44)
Hungary traces its history to the ninth century. After independence between world wars, Hungary experienced Russian domination and 1956 invasion.
Hungarians and Romania's Freedom (01:20)
Post-WWI borders left many Hungarians in Romania. Ceausescu threatened to demolish Hungarian-Romanians' homes in 1989; minister Laszlo Tokes led protests that sparked his overthrow.
Prime Minister on Calvinism and Nation (02:16)
At a 1991 world conference of Hungarian Reformed believers, the Prime Minister gives a speech on the contributions of Calvinism to national culture, including the translation of the Bible into Hungarian.
Calvin's Doctrines (01:01)
Calvin rejected the Catholic hierarchy as a barrier between man and God, advocating an elected ministry. He emphasized personal faith given by the Holy Spirit.
Communism's Spiritual Effects (03:25)
Bishop Laszlo Tokes says Communists destroyed Hungary's religion and culture; Hungarians were complicit through silence. Faith is the answer; the name Reformist reflects a return to Scriptures.
Plains Heartland (01:37)
Catholicism regained ascendancy in Hungary in the late eighteenth century, and communism and drift away from the land took a further toll. Reformed tradition remains strong in its plains heartland, however.
The Reformers saw hymns as a way of transforming Catholic liturgy into a more spontaneous form of worship. We visit a church as the congregation sings.
Calvin on Ministers, Redemption and Sacraments (02:11)
The church's design reflects the view that the minister is the mouth of God, interpreting his Word. Man requires God's grace, available only to the elect, for redemption. We watch an infant being baptised, one of two sacraments Calvin retained.
Difficult Lives in Hungary (03:09)
Calvinists have often looked for signs of grace in material wealth, but most Hungarians have little. A family says God gets them through hardships. Under the free market, elimination of farm subsidies causes difficulties for small holders.
Debrecen a capital of Hungarian Calvinism, rejected attempt to reconvert it to Catholicism and resisted communism. Its independent streak stems from Calvin's teachings.
God's Plan and Hungary (01:53)
Belief in preordained plan gives Calvinists an austere sense of duty and confidence in God's power to overcome tribulation. In Hungary, they believe they have a divinely inspired roll in their country's survival.
Credits: The Hungarian Reformed Church (00:59)
Credits: The Hungarian Reformed Church
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