|Area||93,030 sq km|
|Population||9,958,453 (est 2012)|
|Religions||Roman Catholicism 52%. Calvinist 16%. unaffiliated 14%. unspecified 11%. Lutheran 3%. Greek Catholic 3%. other Christian 1%.|
|Life expectancy||75.02 (est 2012)|
While history hasn’t always been kind to the thousand-year-old nation, geography has. The Land of Healing Waters is a picturesque country in the heart of Europe, respected for its folk music, spicy food and goulash.
After Hungary was defeated by the Ottoman Turks in 1526, the kingdom was divided into three parts – the north-western areas were given to the Austrian Habsburgs, the central area went to the Turks, and the Transylvanian region became a vassal state under the Ottoman Empire.
During World War II Hungary was occupied by Germany and in 1944, 400,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz and other labour camps and killed. The communist takeover by the Soviets was met with resistance during the 1956 uprising but was savagely suppressed by Soviet troops and a pro- Moscow regime imposed.
In the 1980s, the old regime was ousted, due to the collapse of the economy, and a new government instituted. The first multiparty elections were held in 1990 and the following year Soviet troops withdrew from the country. In 1999 Hungary joined Nato and in 2004 became a member of the European Union.
The Roma community, Hungary’s vulnerable minority, often live in extreme poverty and face widespread discrimination.
Corruption, money laundering and organised crime are on the increase. Hungary’s transition from a centrally planned to a market economy is happening against a backdrop of inadequate regulations.
BMS involvement in Hungary
Although BMS no longer has personnel in Hungary, BMS World Mission continues to support Hungarian church planting and leadership training through the provision of partnership grants.
Situated in the Carpathian Basin, surrounded by the Carpathian mountain range, the Alps and the southern Slav mountains, Hungary is a mostly flat land which can be divided into three main regions: The Great Plain, The Transdanube, and the Northern Hills. Over 90 per cent of the country is covered with forests and woodlands.
In 2000, cyanide pollution in the Tisza river valley caused the region’s worst environmental disaster since Chernobyl.
During the 17th century 90 per cent of Hungary was Protestant. However, during the Counter Reformation and in the periods of discrimination that followed, many reverted to Catholicism. Today about 57 per cent of the population is Catholic and just over 20 per cent Protestant.
There are 340 churches in the Baptist Union of Hungary and over 11,500 members.