Reformation has changed our world

 The Reformation proved to be a world-shaping force within just a few lifetimes, and has changed human civilisation once and for all, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said on Sunday in Makó, taking the view that faith and tradition can be the solution to today’s challenges as well.

János Lázár said at the Sunday service of the Makó-Downtown Reformed Church Parish that the Reformation opened up a new era in spiritual history in the lives of the European and Hungarian people which had an impact not only on the Christian community, but on the whole of society, culture and even the economy. 

The teachings of the Reformation could spread not only because they provided more convincing and more understandable answers to theological issues that concerned the people at the time, but also because they set up a clear set of moral norms that were worthy of adoption in daily life, the Minister said, who argued by citing the thoughts of German sociologist Max Weber that it was the Protestant set of values that created the conditions for the modern economy that was based on private property. 

The politician who is also Member of Parliament for the constituency said that it was the impact of the Reformation that made the rise of the middle classes possible, and this was the case not only in capitals and big cities, but also in the provinces. He mentioned the agricultural towns of the Alföld as an example where members of the peasant bourgeoisie erected churches, founded schools for the people, and operated colleges and lyceums. 

The Reformed and evangelical schooling system was the first in the history of the Hungarian people which consciously aimed to provide high-quality and modern education based on a patriotic and civic approach, and it did so democratically by making education available to all ambitious and aspiring young Christian people, Mr Lázár said. 

The Reformation made church services in the native language possible, and put the scripture in the hands of the masses, the people in their own languages. With this, it released the mother tongue and the feeling of national affiliation, and restored to them the rights they deserved. 

The reinforcement of national ties and national awareness was both a means and outcome of a reinforced faith. National sentiments which intensified in response to the Reformation and staunch Christian faith helped the Hungarians to survive during the Turkish occupation, the split of the country into three parts and at the time of Vienna’s attempts at centralisation, the politician reiterated. 

Mr Lázár pointed out that also today faith and tradition can be the solution to the challenges of the present – among which he mentioned the spread of Islam, Brussels’ stealthy federalism and Hungary’s social and economic division into two –, "the stubborn insistence on a Christian Europe that is typical of the Calvinists”.

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