Tschechien: Hussite Church celebrates 100 years

On 15 September, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church officially celebrated its 100-year anniversary with a service in Prague. The service followed a previous one held on 11 January. The September date is a special one for the church, as 100 years ago on that day, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church achieved official recognition by the state. In his introductory speech, the patriarch of the church, Dr Tomáš Butta, pointed out the gravity and scope of the state's recognition of the church. “The state is a political unit, but it has its spiritual roots from which it grows,” he said. “The church is a good way to support the state and its efforts are for the common good.“ He noted that the Czechoslovak Hussite Church was founded at a time when the state stood for democratic values and humanitarian ideals, and so naturally, the church became its supporter. He contrasted this period with the following years of totalitarianism, when the state restricted the freedom and rights of all, including those of the churches.

He also acknowledged the church’s partnership with Charles University, especially with the Hussite Theological Institute, where the clergy and future workers of the church are educated. He positively evaluated the cooperation with the Czech Technical University in Prague, particularly their publication of an exhibit about the architecture of Czechoslovak Hussite churches of the interwar period. He also reminded people of the importance of diaconal and social work, which was an important tenet of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church during the interwar period. “The motto: 'One hundred years of serving God, one hundred years of helping man,' does not only invite us to look back to the past, it also challenges us to work in the present and look to the future,” he said. Pointing to the peculiarity of the time, that of isolation and disrupted life, he concluded his remarks with: “That's why in these days we need much more to feel mutual human proximity and support, to develop assistance and cooperation across churches, nations and states.“ (Quelle: www.oikoumene.org, 24. September 2020)