The unrest in Ukraine has gained much media attention over the past months and following the recent developments in Crimea, the future of Ukraine is increasingly uncertain.
Our partner church, The Reformed Church of Hungary, is deeply supportive of the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia, which the Church of Scotland visited in 2012. This minority Hungarian speaking Church are fearful of their future as they are suffering from the economic collapse as well as the political-military crisis.
With the draft language law already abolishing any minority rights that have been achieved so far, minority groups in Ukraine are increasingly at risk of being targeted by the nationalists. Only last week, a monument of the Hungarian minority was set alight and Ukrainian nationalists armed with baseball bats and clubs disturbed the general assembly session in Transcarpathia.
The Reformed Church in Transcarpathia is suffering considerably from the crisis in the Ukraine. Financially unstable because of the 20% deterioration of the Ukrainian currency, the 50% increase of food prices, low pensions and job losses, they fear that their churches will become insolvent within a short period of time. This combined with forced military conscription is causing great concern for the Hungarian community.
Reformed pastors are also being treated with disrespect, aggression and disdain. In one incident, a pastor was driving to church when his car was stopped and aggressively searched. Explaining that he was on his way to conduct a service, he was told, ‘I don’t know who you are but I know who I am. I can do what I want, because I am doing it in the name of the nation.’ This ever increasing hostility is worrying, and the Hungarians fear for their future.
Ferenc Taracközi, pastor of Beregszász, sends this message:
‘Despite of this hopeless situation we confess, what is the motto of our church, that if God is with us who can be against us. On the other hand in these days of trial we would like to ask our brothers and sisters to pray for us.’
Read more here: http://reformatus.hu/mutat/9351/