Hungary 2,000 Forint 2018. 450 Years of the Unitarian Church. Copper-nickel BU

 There are over a half dozen religions with varying degrees of prominence in Hungary. Over 37% of the population identifies as Catholic, and the others split among a wide diversity of beliefs. But there is only one of the world's religions, Unitarianism, that was founded in Hungary.

In 2018, the Hungarian Unitarian Church is celebrating the 450th anniversary of its founding. Its establishment was promoted by the Act on Religious Freedom created at the Diet of Torda, in the Transylvanian part of Hungary in 1568. Due to this legislative act the different versions of the Reformation had a chance to freely transform into separate churches in a peaceful manner.

The Hungarian Unitarian Church considers the proclamation of the religious laws of the Diet of Torda as its founding moment. The Diet was held from January 6 to 13, 1568 and issued an edict supporting religious tolerance. With the Edict of Torda, the various branches of the Reformation were able to freely and peacefully become independent churches, paving the way for the system of the four “received” denominations (Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran and Unitarian). The Hungarian Unitarian Church declared 2018 the Year of Religious Tolerance, and Hungary’s National Assembly declared January 13th, the date in 1568 when the Edict of Torda was adopted, as the Day of Religious Tolerance. This decision commemorates the Edict of Torda, the world’s first proclamation of a fundamental concept of modern democracy, the right to freedom of religion, as well as the key ideas of religious tolerance for centuries to come: freedom from compulsion, free debate of opinions and freedom of individual belief.

Commemorating the Edict of Torda and the 450th anniversary of establishment of the Unitarian Church, the Hungarian Mint is issuing identical versions of a 10,000-forint silver and a 2,000-forint copper-nickel collector coin.

Its design was inspired by the 18th-century Bölöni Psalter. Recalling the historical traditions, the lettering is presented in the font used in the hymnal: the denomination 10,000 and 2,000 forints in the upper part of the front in two horizontal lines. The legend MAGYARORSZÁG is located below this, with the first letter resembling an initial letter in the hymnal. The Bölöni Psalter is one of the few handwritten Unitarian hymnals that has survived the ages. Hymnals and books of psalms were part of the day-to-day religious services used by the congregations.

The central theme on the reverse is the coat-of-arms of the Hungarian Unitarian Church, with a dove standing on a rock surrounded by a snake biting its own tail, which alludes to the Biblical verse “therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Mt 10:16). Above the coat-of-arms is the semi-circular legend “EGY AZ ISTEN” (God is One) seen on Unitarian churches, with the Biblical quote “A HIT ISTEN AJÁNDÉKA” (Faith is the gift of God, Eph 2:8), which is cited in the 1568 Edict of Torda. The upper circular legend reads “450 ÉVES AZ UNITÁRIUS EGYHÁZ” (450 Years of the Unitarian Church) in larger letters, which also denotes the occasion for which the coin was issued. To the sides of the central motif are two dates: 1568 on the left, marking the Diet of Torda which proclaimed religious tolerance and the foundation of the Unitarian Church, and the date of issue 2018 on the right.

The .925 silver 10,000 forint is in proof quality. It weighs 31.46 grams and is 38.61 mm (1½ inches) in diameter. It costs $68.75. The 2,000 forint is38.61 mm (1½ inches) in diameter, and weighs 30.8 grams. The issue limit is 5,000 pieces.


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