CEC, CCME, and WCC gathered 30 participants from a diversity of church backgrounds to discuss migration through a theological lens. Rev Aaron Stevens from the Scottish Mission, a joint congregation of the Reformed Church in Hungary and the Church of Scotland, represented Hungary at the meeting.
Erasmus+, the European Union program that supports education, training, youth, and sports in Europe, is beginning an exciting new project that the RCH is partnering with – the Train the Unknown Trainer (TUT) project. The RCH will take on a leadership role among other churches and organizations in the project and as partner will even host one of the five TUT meetings in the coming years.
RCH Ecumenical Officer, and Co-moderator of WCRC Europe’s Task Force on Migration and Refugee, Balázs Ódor, recently attended a conference in Lebanon with the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches. It is FMEEC’s third International Conference on Evangelicals and Christian Presence in the East, seeking to bring churches from the East and the West together. Questions of a Cross-regional approach of reformed Churches to Migration were part of the discussions.
The unprecedented flood of refugees into Europe prompted the Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches in Europe (WCRC Europe) to create a “Task Force on Migration and Refugee” to explore appropriate responses to the crisis.
After its second meeting in Katerini, Greece the WCRC Europe's Task Force issued the following statement on Migration.
Two American journalism students visited the RCH Refugee Ministry when it was housed at St. Columba’s Church of Scotland in March and documented their experiences in Budapest with refugees. They were excited by the church’s work with refugees and have included their time at St. Columba’s in their final semester projects.
“The Hungarians know what it means for others to decide their fate, and for this reason they feel it is indispensable to take their lives into their own hands and control it themselves; the right to self-determination is extremely important to them”- Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog declared in an interview on Swiss public radio SRF.
The Church of Scotland is at the forefront of supporting refugees seeking sanctuary in Hungary. The congregation of St. Columba’s Scottish Church in Budapest has been working with refugees for years, and their connection to the Refugee Ministry is at the forefront of this video with Dóra Kanizsai-Nagy. During their recent trip to Budapest for the 175th anniversary of the Scottish Mission in Budapest, the CofS communications team sat down with Kanizsai-Nagy to discuss her work and how it connects to the wider history of interfaith work that has been so central to the history of the Mission.
Dóra Kanizsai-Nagy, Head of the Refugee Ministry of RCH, is currently in the United States of America participating in PCUSA’s International Peacemakers Program. The program brings international peacemakers to the USA for one month to travel and engage faith communities across the country. Kanizsai-Nagy will be talking about her work with refugees through the RCH’s Refugee Ministry as well as through the NGO, Kalunba, that she helped found in 2014. The following is an article from the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
The RCH’s American intern recently visited our partner church, the Evangelical Church in Greece, to learn more about their aid work with refugees. Kearstin Bailey, a Global Mission Intern (GMI) currently serving in Budapest with the RCH, spent a week in Katerini, Greece immersed in vital on-the-ground work with refugees who are fleeing persecution and seeking safety in Europe.
A group of 12 volunteers from Myers Park Presbyterian Church (USA) visited Budapest in July to work at an English camp put on by St. Columba’s Scottish Mission and the Kalunba charity. Court Young, Mission Coordinator at MPPC, recently wrote this reflection about her team’s time in Hungary. During their stay, the group from America experienced a mosaic of humanity in the midst of the camp, bringing a restored hope and faith in the wider world.
Remembering World Refugee Day, the Conference of European Churches has issued a press release on their recent high-level consultation organized jointly with WCC, CCME and PKN. Two representatives of RCH also attended the meeting in Lunteren, Netherlands.
Representatives of Reformed churches and international organisations gathered in Budapest on the first days of June to discuss the challenges presented by the refugee situation, as well as the responsibility and opportunities of churches. Having accepted the invitation of István Szabó, Ministerial President of the Reformed Church in Hungary (RCH), guests from fourteen European countries attended the meeting, which was jointly organized with the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland.
As a follow-up consultation to the January meeting in Rhineland, partner churches continue the discussion surrounding common responsibility in the current migration situation. Representatives from fourteen countries and many churches and faith-based organizations took part in this meaningful dialogue regarding migration in Europe.
As a follow-up consultation to the January meeting in Rhineland, partner churches continue the discussion on the common responsibility in the current migration situation.
International partners from the Presbyterian Church (USA) recently visited the RCH on a trip to trace the path of refugees through Hungary, Greece, and Germany. Now, members of Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina are taking what they’ve learned back to America as they continue posting reflective pieces on their church’s new blog, Love Builds Up.
International partners from the Presbyterian Church (USA) recently visited the RCH to deepen ecumenical ties between the American and Hungarian churches while tracing the path of refugees through Hungary, Greece and Germany. The delegation, led by the PCUSA Moderator, also consists of representatives from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), as well as local pastors and leaders from the wider PCUSA denomination, who have come to engage in active support of the work being done in Hungary by the RCH for migrants and asylum seekers.
As the migration situation in Europe does not seem to be waning anytime soon, reformed church leaders have continued their commitment to show solidarity for those fleeing to the European Union from conflict zones. As part of the European solidarity, Sabine Dreßler of the Reformed Alliance in Germany talked to Rev. Dimitrios Boukis, general secretary of the Evangelical Church of Greece, about challenges facing not only his church but all of those in Europe. The message posted on WCRC website is clear: The Church should become a real solution.
Refugees fleeing conflict zones are now able to gain safe passage to cooperative European member states through resettlement efforts. The NGO offshoot of the Refugee Ministry of the RCH, the Kalunba Social Services Association, is at the forefront of this work in Hungary thanks to an agreement with the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality. The last refugees from those interviewed in 2015 just arrived in March of 2016, bringing the total number of arrivals for the year 2015 to twelve persons.
A joint conference by the World Council of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Alliance in Germany took place in Emden, Germany between 17th-20th February. A delegation of RCH also participated.