Earlier this month, UUA President, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, visited Transylvania to participate in the inauguration of the Hungarian Unitarian Church’s new "House of Religious Freedom" and related events commemorating the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda.
During the visit Rev. Frederick-Gray reaffirmed the UUA’s commitment to "confront and resist efforts to preference, subvert or manipulate religious movements" in the US and the world; to "welcome the stranger, regardless of identity or religious outlook, even as powerful leaders speak of building walls and excluding the people fleeing war, trauma and persecution"; and to partner "with the Hungarian Unitarian Church, in a spirit of hope and love, even in times of disagreement or misunderstanding."
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, Rev. Frederick-Gray explained the challenges of Religious Freedom in the current era:
Preaching during the Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church in Kolozsvar, Rev. Frederick-Gray expressed the importance of Siding with Love during difficult times, drawing on similarities between the Edict of Torda and foundational commitments of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. She shared a hope that Unitarians and UUs around the world will be in faithful solidarity with each other, explaining that "this is no time to go it alone," and that "this is no time for a casual faith."
Alongside the formal events, Rev. Frederick-Gray visited a variety of historic Unitarian sites, including the Unitarian church in Meszko - the Alabaster Village - where Rev. Balazs Ferenc served during the 1920s and the museum where the restored painting of the Diet of Torda is on public display. Rev. Frederick-Gray also appreciated the many opportunities to build closer relationships with Unitarian leaders in Transylvania, including Bishop Ferenc Balint Benczedi.
Visit Torda450.org to find out more about events and theological reflection opportunities taking place during this anniversary year.