Csíkszereda, Romania, May 15 (MTI) – The statue of Áron Márton, the ethnic Hungarian bishop of Alba Iulia (Gyulafehérvár) from 1939 to 1980, was inaugurated on the main square of Miercurea Ciuc (Csíkszereda), in central Romania’s Szekler Land region, on Sunday.
Addressing the unveiling ceremony, Hungary’s President János Áder praised the one-time bishop for his brave stance against all oppressive powers, including his protest against the deportation of Jews from northern Transylvania, then a part of Hungary, during WWII.
Citing the bishop, the president said that “working for the nation is not a separate profession but a duty inseparable from any profession.” Márton led his congregation, church, community and nation as a general and served them as a servant, Áder said.
Áron Márton (1896-1980) was a prominent representative of Hungarian public life in Transylvania. In 1944, he condemned the planned deportation of Hungarian and Romanian Jews. For his activities during this period, he was awarded the title “Righteous Among the Nations” by the Yad Vashem institute in Jerusalem in 1999.
A committed advocate of religious freedom and human rights, Márton became an outspoken opponent of Romania’s dictatorial communist regime. He was arrested in 1949 and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1951. Upon international pressure, he was ultimately released in 1955 but was not allowed to leave the bishopric building from 1956 to 1967.