Christians" Monday, October 22,  to change his "ailing" nation with a spiritual revival. Orban spoke at the National  Protestant Days on the eve of the 45th anniversary (on Tuesday,   October 23) of Hungary’s anti Communist revolution, which was crushed by Soviet troops.   

The state-run Hungarian radio quoted Orban as saying that as in other European countries "the (church) bell summons us to funerals more often than to christenings."  Orban said that although communism disappeared "from our lives from one day to the next, we still must pose the question of what mark was left on the people" by four decades of Communism.


"We cannot bypass the question of whether the profound change which so many people, especially the young Christians, expected for decades in Hungary has indeed happened", Orban said.  His comments came after church leaders warned earlier this month that Hungary’s new found freedom has lead to an increase of sects,  occult phenomena’s,  alcoholism and "materialistic Atheism."

At the same time churches have seen a dramatic decrease of members,  BosNewsLife learned. Between 1992 and 1998 the Roman Catholic membership dropped from 67.8 percent of the population to 57.8,  according to official data. In the same period Protestant churches suffered too. The Reformed Church saw its membership declining from 20.9 percent of Hungarians to 17.7, while Lutheran Church membership fell from 4.2 to 3.9 percent.


Orban told his mainly Protestant audience that Christians should shoulder the responsibility for the work and legacy of Hungary’s King St Stephen, who founded Hungary as a Christian state about one thousand years ago. "All historical churches represent values without which the future of the Hungarians would be difficult to  imagine."

He suggested that the new generation must carry the torch of those "who undertook prison for their faith during the 1956 revolution.


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