2018: Celebrating the 450th Anniversary of Religious Tolerance

by Zsofia Sztranyiczki

celebrating-the-450th-anniversary-of-religious-tolerance-in-torda-romania-2018In 2018, the Hungarian Unitarian Church celebrates 450 years of existence.  In 1568, in the city of Torda (now Romania), a religious gathering presided over by Unitarian King John Sigismund proclaimed:

“In every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation likes it, well. If not, no one shall compel them for their souls would not be satisfied, but they shall be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve…no one shall be reviled for his religion by anyone… and it is not permitted that anyone should threaten anyone else by imprisonment… For faith is the gift of God…”

To mark this momentous occasion, there will be year-round celebrations and events. For up-to-date information on events, go to www.torda450.org or to its dedicated Facebook page.

International Conference on Religious Tolerance On January 13, 2018, the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Religious Toleration (aka “The Edict of Torda”) and the recognition of Unitarianism for the first time in the world, an International Conference on Religious Tolerance will take place in Torda and Kolozsvár (Romania). The International Conference aims to map the implications of religious tolerance for contemporary society and to reframe it in such a way to help individuals and religious institutions move toward a more open and cooperative approach. Contact dgyero@unitarius.org for further details.

UU United Nations Office Spring Conference On April 7, 2018 the Torda450 theological dialogue comes to New York City, and will address issues of ‘Freedom and Resistance” concurrently with the annual UU United Nations Office Spring Seminar.

Dedication of the Center for Religious Freedom On July 7, 2018, the Hungarian Unitarian Church will dedicate The Center for Religious Freedom housed in the former residence of the Unitarian bishops – and one of the oldest medieval buildings in Kolozsvár – “to the service of the community and the ideal of religious freedom and tolerance.” The building is being renovated and repurposed to provide a community area, a research center for religious studies, and a museum.

Inaugural Roots Pilgrimage The UU Partner Church Council and the Hungarian Unitarian Church will organize an inaugural Roots Pilgrimage Tour related to the Torda450 events in July 2018. The pilgrimage will bring Unitarians from Transylvania’s Kolozsvár/Torda/Aranyosszék region and people from their North American partner congregations together to explore their shared Unitarian religious heritage as well as their values, traditions, and spiritual, cultural, and theological beliefs. To find out more, click here.

IARF’s World Congress The International Association for Religious Freedom’s 35th World Congress will take place as part of the Reimagining Interfaith Cooperation conference in Washington, DC, July 29-August 1, 2018.  This event will engage many of the themes of Torda450, and include a celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda.

The Association of Unitarian Women of Romania (UNOSZ) will join the Torda450 celebrations in 2018 with the publication of a prayer book. Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist women from across the world are invited to share prayers and meditations that have been helpful in times of joy or pain, need or sickness – in various situations of their lives. Recommended themes: giving thanks for life, family (children, parents, etc.), forebearers, or harvest; for being a woman, mother, Unitarian/Unitarian Universalist, etc. The length of submissions cannot exceed more than one page. An individual can send more than one prayer or meditation. Each will be evaluated by a committee comprised of lay people and clergy and edited for possible inclusion. Please send your contribution to imapalyazat@yahoo.com by December 31, 2017. All contributors will receive a complimentary copy.


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