World Congress of Hungarian Baptists Concludes with Call to Evangelism

The Third World Congress of the Hungarian Baptist World Alliance has concluded in Debrecen, with a call for all to make a personal commitment to evangelism.

|TOP|Approximately 5,300 ethnic-Hungarian Baptists from 15 countries took part in the three-day event.

A declaration passed at the gathering stated: “We believe that the only solution for mankind living in ever more complicated social circumstances is our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Only God can overcome the hopelessness of the Hungarian people “caused by our sins”.

The declaration added: “We are to labour further in the future for presenting the Gospel of Christ genuinely and in an ever broader circle to our neighbours, to our beloved Hungarian nation and to the world.”

The highlight of the conference was an evangelistic worship service in which the President of the Hungarian Baptists, Dr. Kalman Meszaros (Budapest), held the sermon. Approximately 800 non-Baptists attended the service.

|AD|Political issues also featured in the declaration, as the Hungarian Baptists underscored their national identity as one people. They branded the Trianon-Treaty of 1920 as “unjust”.

The surrender of territory required by the treaty separated roughly 3.3 million Hungarians from their motherland. Since then, Hungarians in Serbia and Slovakia in particular have repeatedly suffered ethnic discrimination.

As a result the declaration stated: “We lift our voices against any political discrimination or persecution that offended or obstructed those who belong to the Hungarian nation.”

The Baptists also expressed hope that membership in the European Union would help overcome ethnic strife. The paper adds a confirmation that European culture is rooted in Christianity, even though the EU Constitution does not explicitly state so.

The declaration was read aloud by Lajos Marosi Nagy (Budapest), European Vice-President of the Men’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA).

British-born Rev David Coffey, the President of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) greeted the world Baptists and urged them to stick to a 4-point profile. He said, “Fellowship despite diversity, worked out by Jesus Christ; Reach-out, since the Great Commission is taken seriously by Baptists; Freedom and Justice, since we are the voice of those who cannot speak; Compassion, since beside sharing the Gospel, we help the needy.”

Pastor Geza Herjeczki (Detroit/USA), the freshly-elected President of the Hungarian Baptist World Alliance, stressed the importance of the Great Commission for Baptists: “Let us be a road sign for those who are not yet walking with Jesus Christ.”

Other guests included the Estonian Helari Puu (Tallinn), President of the European Baptist Federation (EBF).

330 congregations with 11,300 members belong to the Hungarian Baptist Union. An additional Baptist union in Romania involves 230 congregations with 8,500 members. Both unions are members of the European Baptist Federation.

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