Hungary’s inhabitants are descended from the Magyars. The centuries old Magyar language is still the official tongue spoken there. Hungary was a large, powerful country through most of the 1400s and into the early 1500s. But it began to change hands from one outside ruling government to another through the 1600s. The Hapsburg dynasty from central Europe reigned in most of Hungary until the end of World War I in 1918. Hungary enjoyed brief independence until Communist armies took over in the early 1940s. The Communists adopted a constitution similar to that of the Soviet Union, and began to restrict people’s freedom. The people revolted against the Communists in 1956, but were quickly crushed. The Soviet Union made reforms in the late 1980s, giving the people more freedom. In 1990, the first multiparty elections since 1949 were held in Hungary, marking the end of Communist rule.
The initial development of the Hungarian Pentecostal Church came from the labors of one woman who was called by God to preach the Good News to her people. Her ministry spread and bore fruit in many places. Churches were started, others were called to preach, and a small but significant revival strengthened the fellowship.
During Communist rule, the church was closely watched and restricted by the government. Assemblies of God missionary to Eastern Europe, Bob Mackish frequently visited Hungary to encourage the leadership and plant spiritual seeds among the people. When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, Pentecostal believers were free to share the Gospel openly. The first resident Assemblies of God missionaries to Hungary were appointed in 1990.
The Movement Today
Rather than establishing a new network of believers, the Assemblies of God labors alongside the Hungarian Pentecostal Church for evangelism. The national Pentecostal church reports the following statistics: 146 Churches and outstations, over 10,000 members and adherents, 138 ministers, one Bible school with 85 students enrolled, and other programs training 100 students.
Additional Facts About Hungary
- Capital: Budapest
- Area: 35,919 square miles
- Population: 9.9 million
- Urbanization: 70%
- Agriculture: Poultry, corn, grapes, hogs, dairy, potatoes, sugar beets, and wheat.
- Industry: Transportation equipment, electrical products, food products, medical/scientific equipment, pharmaceuticals, steel, textiles, and bauxite mining.