The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary
Who is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary and what are its ministries?
A Lutheran gathering in Hungary.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH)
, a member of the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF), is made up of 213,000 members in 300 congregations. The ELCH houses its central administrative office in Budapest, and it is from here that many of the ELCH’s ministries are coordinated, such as mission outreach, education, youth ministry, social ministry and congregational support. The congregations of the ELCH preach and teach God’s Word and administer the sacraments. They nourish and strengthen the members for lives of faith.
The ELCH operates thirty-seven educational institutions offering education for all ages. Pastors and religious educators receive their training at the Lutheran Theological University. The ELCH has been ordaining women since 1986.
The ELCH also operates several charitable organizations. They provide care for young disabled children and older adults nearing the end of life. The ELCH offers a homeless shelter in Nyíregyháza, a rehabilitation center for alcoholics in Györköny, and a variety of other social services throughout Hungary.
The ELCH reaches out to the people of Hungary in many ways. It publishes a weekly paper, airs radio programs, televises worship services and broadcasts many other programs, too.How do the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with the ELCH.
The ELCA Global Mission unit operates the Young Adults in Global Mission program
that, beginning in the fall of 2009 will place ELCA participants throughout Hungary and Slovakia focusing on ministry with the Roma.Hungary: The context in which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary serves
Hungary, first unified in 1001, was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until World War I. Its constitution was put into effect on August 20, 1949, and has been revised three times since then. It fell under communist rule in 1956 and regained independence as a parliamentary democracy with the fall of the USSR in 1991. Almost 10 million people live in Hungary. Hungarian is the official language. The country's main religions are: Roman Catholic (52%); Calvinist (16%); Lutheran (3%); and Greek Catholic (3%).
Hungary continues to demonstrate strong economic growth and is a member of the European Union (EU). The private sector accounts for over 80% of GDP. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms is widespread. Ratings agencies are concerned over Hungary's unsustainable budget and current account deficits. Current challenges include cutting the public sector deficit to 3% of GDP by 2008 and reducing interest rate reductions without causing capital outflows. Inflation and unemployment have declined substantially. Upgrading Hungary's standards in waste management, energy efficiency, and air, soil, and water pollution to EU requirements will require large investments.
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