Budapest, October 14 (MTI) – Good Friday is to be declared a non-working holiday in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced at the 1956 memorial meeting of the synod of Hungarian Reformed Churches on Friday.
Orbán said next year’s 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation in Europe would be the right time to help believers celebrate Good Friday by declaring it a non-working holiday.
On the subject of the 60th anniversary of Hungary’s anti-Soviet uprising of 1956, the prime minister said, “the cold reality of dictatorship grinds up human dignity, usually leaving emptiness and decreased vigour in its wake.” But in 1956 “our heroes won because… they made us proud”, Orbán said.
Concerning Protestantism, the prime minister said it was a “crucial component of modern European democracy and culture”. He added that “once again it takes courage to tell the simple truth that modern European culture and today’s civic way of life owe their existence to Christianity”.
Today “they not only want to cut our roots in the European political arena, they also seek to change the soil which has nurtured Europe and often we do not have the courage to say so,” Orbán said.
In his address, the prime minister paid tribute to the Protestants who had participated in the revolution, and highlighted pastor Lajos Gulyás, who risked his own life to prevent chaos and more killing after the Mosonmagyarovar volley on October 26, when an enraged crowd of locals was about to lynch members of the militia.
“The example of Protestant martyrs of 1956 is the past that lives with us – a part of the history of the nation and of the Church,” Orbán said.