Church shows solidarity with Transylvanian General Assembly
6 September 2012
A Church of Scotland partner church has had its property seized by the Romanian government.
The Romanian government has been successful in their attempts to take back a High School in Sepsiszentgyörgy, owned by the Hungarian-speaking Reformed Church, which is a partner of the Church of Scotland.
Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, and Rev Dr Alan Falconer, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Ecumenical Relations Committee, sent a message of support to Bishop Dr Géza Pap of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District.
Mrs Foster-Fulton said: “We are distressed and concerned to learn of the decisions of the Romanian courts with regard to the ownership of Székely Mikó Reformed High School in Sepsiszentgyörgy.
“We share the pain and fear expressed by the resolution of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District’s General Assembly, in that the rule of law, protection of minorities and the upholding of human rights appear to be in jeopardy as a result of this action.
“What is most concerning is that this action appears to be targeting a minority, as the Transylvanian Reformed Church is Hungarian-speaking, and has a different culture, ethnicity and tradition from the majority of Romanians."
The history of Church property in Romania was very difficult in the 20th Century, as after the war the Communist regime nationalised religious land and buildings. Church property was eventually restored to its original owners in 1999. This recent move is a very disappointing reversal.