Hungary and the Hungarian diaspora have a mutual responsibility, President Katalin Novák said in Toronto on Sunday, at the inauguration of a new church and community centre to the First Hungarian Reformed Church.
Ties between the mother country and the diaspora form an “umbilical cord” which ensures “spiritual, intellectual, and cultural connection” even through long distances. It “nurtures and connects us for good, in an inseparable way”, the president said. Hungary has an obligation to “listen to and take responsibility for” diaspora communities, while Hungarian communities have the obligation to retain their Hungarian identity and their language, she said.
Hungarians in other parts of the world should also take responsibility for Hungarian communities in the Carpathian Basin, the president said. “Those in need, whether in Hungary or in former parts of Hungary, are looking for help,” she said, noting Canadian Hungarians’ aid to Transcarpathia Hungarians after the Ukraine war had broken out.
The new church was inaugurated by bishop Zoltán Balog, head of the Synod of the Hungarian Reformed Church.
The First Hungarian Reformed Church of Toronto left its previous church in January 2019. The new church is part of a complex including the Hungarian Diaspora Mission Centre complete with halls and other facilities to serve Hungarians in Canada. The complex was built with a contribution from the Hungarian state.