International Unitarian Universalism: Torda 450: Celebrating the Anniversary of Religious Tolerance

Torda450 Pilgrimages

Tombs of King John Sigismund and his mother, Queen isabella

A Year of Celebration: Torda450 Will Be Celebrated Across the World

January 12, 2018

International Conference on Religious Tolerance, Torda and Kolozsvár, Romania

From the Hungarian Unitarian Church: "Europe and other regions of the world came a long way these last centuries in acknowledging religious tolerance. This tolerance encompasses manifold levels and relationships: states and churches, great religions, or restraining the circle Christian denominations between themselves as well as currents within the same church. Today religious tolerance is considered a given. The state guarantees it, the rationality of our existence enforces it, and our religious feelings enhance it. We proclaim it as an attainment; we consider it natural and the end of the road. But is it so?

Is religious tolerance as a final attainment – as we believers and institutions live it - a viable solution or an obstacle in the way of true tolerance, true coexistence? Is tolerance understood as the basis of knowledge, understanding and perhaps even dialogue? Is tolerance understood as an openness of the individual, and the institutions, with the understanding that Transcendence cannot be encompassed?

Could religious tolerance be reformulated as a beginning and can this help in overcoming the spiritual crisis of our time, in starting a collaborative effort of churches and religions to help solve the political and social challenges of contemporary society?

The International Conference aims to map the implications of religious tolerance for contemporary society and to reframe it in such a way to help individuals and religious institutions move toward a more open and cooperative approach." Contact the Hungarian Unitarian Church for further details.

February 11, 2018 - February 15, 2018

The Heart of Unitarianism/Universalism​, Kathmandu, Nepal

During the next International Council of Unitarians and Universalists Conference we will explore the multifaceted nature of our global faith and strive to better articulate what our shared faith is. We will hear from several keynote speakers, each speaking not only to the unique expression of Unitarian/Universalism in their faith community, but also about how we bridge the differences of our faith expressions to become a stronger, more united voice for religious freedom in our world. Participants will gain experience in multicultural religious conversation and explore how to then share those conversations with their faith communities. For more information please see our BROCHURE.

Join us for our 2018 Conference being held in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Conference was originally planned to be held in the Khasi Hills of India where people have been living Unitarian/Universalist values and faith for generations. However, enforcement of severe visa regulations that are obstacles to international religious gatherings by the Government of India has made it necessary to move the Conference to Kathmandu. We will gather for learning and inspiration, worship and conversation, and of course, good food. Register Today!

April 2018

Torda450 Theological Dialogue—NYC, New York, USA

The Torda450 theological dialogue comes to New York City, and will address issues of ‘Freedom and Resistance” concurrently with the annual UU United Nations Office Spring Seminar on Saturday, April 7.

June 20-24, Kansas City, MO

UUA General Assembly 2018

The UUA General Assembly 2018 will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center, 301 W 13th St, Kansas City, MO 64105 (map). As UUs from across the world meet in America's most centrally located major metropolitan area, an opportunity arises. The International Joint Working Group will be organizing Torda450 celebrations during GA.

July 7, 2018

Dedication of the Center for Religious Freedom—Kolozsvár, Romania

From the Hungarian Unitarian Church: "The Edict of Torda is closely linked to the founding of the Unitarian Church in Transylvania. Bishop Francis David and King John Sigismund played a significant role in the ratification of the law that allowed for the first time the right for religious freedom and conscience and also the right of the congregations to elect their own preachers. Because of this law, Transylvania became a land of religious freedom and denominational tolerance, providing shelter for people charged with heresy in other less tolerant European countries.

To commemorate this momentous event in the history of the Hungarian Unitarian Church, a project of outstanding importance was undertaken. The former residence of the Unitarian bishops, one of the remaining medieval buildings in Kolozsvár, is being renovated and transformed to serve the purposes of the larger community. The building will be committed as Center for Religious Freedom and will house a community area, a research center for religious studies and a museum.

The Center for Religious Freedom will be dedicated to the service of the community and the ideal of religious freedom and tolerance."

UU Clergy are encouraged to participate as part of the FIRST EVER Joint UU Ministers Association/Hungarian Unitarian Church Ministers Association Pilgrimage 

Beginning and ending in Kolozsvár/Cluj, this pilgrimage will take you to the region’s most significant Unitarian holy places including Torda, Gyulaferhervar & Deva. You will help celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda by being at the dedication of the Center for Religious Freedom in the renovated Bishop’s House in Kolozsvár and attend a conference on religious freedom led by a panel of theologians from Transylvania, the US, Indonesia, India and Burundi. The pilgrimage will include three days of conversation and joint programming with Hungarian Unitarian Church colleagues at a retreat center. This pilgrimage is ONLY open to members of the UUMA in preliminary and final fellowship and the Hungarian Unitarian Church Ministers Association. In order to foster bonds with Hungarian Unitarian Church counterparts that might endure for many years of service in ministry, priority registration will be given to ministers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

See the full itinerary.

And, Register Now

July 9-17, 2018

Inaugural Roots Pilgrimage

Join us for this joint inaugural Roots Pilgrimage July 9 - 17 (8 nights/8 days) with the Hungarian Unitarian Church and the UU Partner Church Council! Together we will explore our shared Unitarian religious heritage, including spiritual, cultural and theological beliefs, values and traditions.
For more information see the ROOTS FAQ's

A PRE-pilgrimage extension is offered by the Hungarian Unitarian Church to enable our North American Roots participants to attend the dedication of the Center for Religious Freedom in the restored Bishop’s House on July 7, a Sunday morning worship service in Kolozsvár on July 8, and an international conference on religious freedom on July 9. The conference is connected to the Torda450 project (see for details). English will be one of the primary languages at the conference. Cost of the pre-pilgrimage Kolozsvár extension is $250 for double occupancy (with an option to get a single room for an additional $60). Meals are included and more information will be forthcoming after registration closes on April 1, 2018

To round out your ROOTS experience, take part in the POST-pilgrimage extension to Budapest July 17 - 20th. See POST trip itinerary and prices here.

July 14 - 27, 2018

A Mindful Walk: A Pilgrimage on Foot

Walk the beautiful rolling hills and pastoral river valleys of central Transylvania. This pilgrimage is a collaboration between the UUPCC and Starr King School for the Ministry (SKSM). While the pilgrimage is open to all, students at SKSM, Meadville Lombard Theological School and potentially other seminaries will have the option of getting credit for the pilgrimage. Not for the casual walker. Daily walking distances will range from 10 - 28 km (6-17 miles) in length, and will utilize secondary and tertiary roads of varying surfaces (dirt, gravel & paved) along with horse-cart paths and hiking trails. Luggage vans will carry extra gear from destination to destination, and sag wagons will pick up those walkers who wish to end their day early. Evening programs will include lectures, discussion groups, worship and meditation, along with music, and local folklore. Find out more about A Mindful Walk.

July 29-August 1, 2018

IARF’s 35 World Congress—Washington D.C., USA

  • The International Association for Religious Freedom’s 35th World Congress - will take place as part of the ‘Reimagining Interfaith Cooperation” conference in Washington, DC. This event will engage many of the themes of Torda450, and include a celebration of the 450th Anniversary of the Edict of Torda. All are welcome!

December 8, 2018

Anniversary Assembly of the Synod, Thanksgiving and Hope—Kolozsvár, Romania

  • During the 450 years since the founding of the Hungarian Unitarian Church and the Edict of Torda, the supreme legislative and governing body of the Church was the Synod, formed by clerics and laity alike. Throughout its existence, the Synod left its undeniable imprint on the history of the denomination. Its decisions clarified and reformed the teachings of the Church, and its stance determined traditions and spiritual values. On the 8th of December the Synod of the Hungarian Unitarian Church will hold an Anniversary Assembly to give thanks and to look forward.
  • From the Hungarian Unitarian Church "The Assembly will give thanks to God, our Lord for His providence, for the wisdom of our elected officials and for the faith and staunchness of the congregants. The Synod will acknowledge the enlightenment which overcame religious disputes and conflicts and will bear witness to the willingness of peace and understanding between denominations. The Synod will testify with the Psalmist that the Lord is our Light. This heavenly light, which guided our forebearers, is reflected in our lives, and helps us to find the way toward each other, to know and to respect diversity, to keep our traditions and to work for ways of renewal." Contact the Hungarian Unitarian Church for further details.

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