Members of the Eurodiaconia Marginalization and Exclusion network gathered in Budapest for their meeting hosted by the Reformed Church in Hungary. The group spoke about child poverty issues and did a field visit at Kalunba Social Services Ltd., the RCH’s implementing partner for refugee integration.
The RCH’s refugee integration work, done in partnership with Kalunba Nonprofit Ltd, has been spotlighted in a recent Social Platform case study report regarding “social investment.” Social Platform spoke with the RCH Diaconal Office’s current Head of the Unit for Refugee Integration, Ms. Dora Kanizsai-Nagy, about the work being done in Hungary.
Following months of dedicated work, the RCH and Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER) have cooperated on a Country Program (CP) for Hungary to be in effect from 2017-2020. This is the second CP between the two organizations and will focus on the RCH’s Roma Mission as well as the Refugee Integration.
“Hungary wants to become a centre for organisations working to combat the persecution of Christians”, the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Parliamentary State Secretary declared at an international conference entitled: “New Opportunities for Solidarity in the Interests of Discriminated Christian Communities”.
The RCH has been working with refugees since 2006, and in the beginning of 2017 the Refugee Ministry was reorganized in order to have a bigger impact on clients in need. The ministry now falls under the umbrella of the RCH Diaconal Office and partners with a local implementing partner, Kalunba Social Services Ltd, in the work to integrate recognized refugees into life in Hungary.
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.