organizers call a "pilgrimage of trust on earth," an offial told BosNewsLife, Sunday, November 4. The event, organized by the famous France based Ecumenical Community of Taizé, will be held from 28 December 2001 to January 1, 2002, Brother Emile Frere said. Young adults, including Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants from Europe and other continents are expected to participate in the gathering, focused on peace and reconciliation.
"The meeting will encourage those who take part to go to the wellsprings of the faith, and help them to prepare themselves to take on responsibilities in the human family," the Taizé brothers said in a statement obtained by BosNewsLife.
PEACE AND UNDERSTANDING
The ecumenical community of Taizé was founded by Brother Roger in 1940. It includes brothers from Catholic and different Protestant backgrounds from over twenty-five different countries, to promote peace and understanding.
Under Communism, "since 1962, Taizé brothers traveled, at first with great discretion, in the countries of central and eastern Europe, including Hungary, to support Christians there," the Taize community said.
After Barcelona, which hosted the meeting at the end of 2000, the Budapest event is the 24th European gathering organized by the Taizé Community. A previous event in the Hungarian capital brought together 70,000 young adults in 1991, Taize officials added.
"Only two square meters are needed to welcome" is the organizers’ slogan, to encourage especially families to open their doors for the Christian budget travelers from around the world.
During the meeting itself , participants will spend mornings in local churches and the rest of the day at the Hungexpo, a huge exhibition center in Budapest, which will be transformed into a place of prayer and worship.
Several activities have already begun in collaboration with dioceses and parishes. Every weekend for several months, meetings are being held in all Budapest districts, several suburbs and nearby villages, in search for accommodations.
In addition churches have begun special prayer services. "Friday evenings, a prayer goes from church to church, both Catholic and Protestant, throughout the city," the Taize statement said.
Preparation teams also meet at lunch time in the Budapest St. Milhaly Church "for a prayer open to all, made up essentially of Taizé songs, a short Bible reading and silence."
The developments come after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban urged the Churches "and especially young Christians" to work on a spiritual revival in his troubled country.
He made the comments at the beginning of the 45th anniversary of the Hungarian anti Communist revolution for Independence, which was crushed when fresh Soviet troops entered the country on November 4, 1956.
On Sunday Hungarian officials, including President Ferenc Madl visited the graves of Prime Minister Imre Nagy and three of his comrades, who were executed for their role in the revolution. About 230 people, including teenagers, were executed for participating in the 1956 freedom fight.
In addition 500 people died during the revolution, 25,000 Hungarians received prison sentences and 200,000 fled the country, according to official figures.
Prime Minister Orban and church leaders have suggested that young Christians should remain involved in the post-Communist era, which shortly after the regime’s collapse in 1989.