Friday, August 20, 2010

Resurrection Sunday Dance, Budapest, Hungary

I have been concerned about the countries of Eastern Europe in the post-Soviet era, because many of them, having lived for a couple of generations under official atheism have now turned to secularism and materialism and are in as much of a social and spiritual predicament as they were under Communism. To put it another, less flattering way: if you are an Eastern European and the only model you have for what to do with your freedom is what you see in Western Europe and the so-called "culture" exported by American mass media, you are in real trouble.

Perhaps nowhere have the ill effects of trying to fill post-Soviet emptiness with Western materialism and decadence been more obvious than in the cities of Prague (Czech Republic) and Budapest (Hungary).

So it was a delight to run across this video from of an Easter Sunday celebration that took place on one of the largest squares in Budapest. These young people are from Faith Church, which has grown beyond one congregation to become something of a revival movement in Hungary. I am still checking these folks out, so this isn't necessarily an endorsement. But, in a country with great spiritual need, I consider it a hopeful sign.

You can learn more about Faith Church from this video:

From the description that appears on YouTube along with the video:
Faith Church considers itself as representing a modern Reform movement in Hungary. It accepts the results and spiritual, moral values of both early Christianity and the Reformation, as well as other revival movements serving the progress of the Christian faith. Nowadays the process of renewal gains new momentum from all around the world, affecting both the traditional Christian communities and the Pentecostal-Charismatic churches formed during the 20th century.
The Church also started the website: Up to Faith.

1 comment:

Robert S. Munday said...

I received this comment by e-mail and am reprinting it here with the writer's permission:
To get the impact of this video, it's worth tracking down and reading James Michener's little book, Bridge at Andau (ISBN 978-0394417783), a chronicle of the brave citizens who rose up against their communist oppressors in October of 1956. Into this very square ("Heroes Square") Moscow sent the tanks to suppress the rebellion in Nov. of '56. Michener was living in Austria at the time, and he reported the events from Vienna near the "bridge at Andau" where many Hungarians escaped to safety in Western Europe.

When the Iron Curtain finally fell, and Hungary became free, October 23 was declared a national holiday in honor of the rebellion during the fall of 1956.

I happened to be teaching for Reformed Theological Seminary in Budapest on Oct. 23, 1996, the 40th anniversary of that celebration. What celebrations there were were muted, the memories were so painful. It was sobering. I remember walking, virtually alone in this square.

The reality these kids are dancing to is the singular hope of the world, of Hungary, of the Episcopal church: "When life triumphed on Resurrection Sunday."

Great is the mystery of faith: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Reggie Kidd
[Professor of New Testament]
Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando