I was privileged to be present at the special celebration to mark the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda held in Torda, Romania, on Saturday, 13th January. It was a remarkable occasion with three churches filled in the town, the service relayed to a screen in the town square and the event broadcast live on Hungarian television.
The Edict of Torda was the first promulgation of religious toleration in Europe. From the point of view of Western Europe it came at the surprisingly early date of 1568 and took place in Transylvania under the rule of King John II Sigismund, the only Unitarian king in history.
Here I will post some images from the service held in the Catholic Church in Torda, traditionally regarded as the location for the meeting of the Diet of 1568.
Assembling in Torda near the Orthodox Church
Walking up to the Catholic Church
Inside the Church before the service
Rev Márton Csésc and Rev Imola Molnár who introduced the 16 speakers at the service
Lászlo Kövér, President of the Hungarian Parliament
Preparing to unveil the new monument to religious freedom after the service
Some of the congregation outside
Bishop Ferenc Bálint Benczédi of the Hungarian Unitarian Church, Archbishop György Jakubinyi of the Roman Catholic Church and other dignitaries
Rev Dávid Gyerő, deputy bishop of the Hungarian Unitarian Church delivers the homily
Rev István Kovács Public Affairs Director of the Hungarian Unitarian Church
Rev József Kászoni-Kövendi, deputy bishop of the Hungarian Unitarian Church
Unveiling the memorial
The new memorial to religious freedom, Ad Astra, by Liviu Mocan