Hungary is on my mind
September 22, 2006
I took this picture last March while visiting Budapest, Hungary . It is a memorial to the 1956 revolution against the Soviets in Hungary. This October marks the 50th anniversary of that failed revolution. I did a paper on the revolution when I was in college.
I find it ironic that as we approach the 50th anniversary of that event, Budapest is experiencing riots and protests. As I read the reports of what happened earlier this week, it reminded me of the accounts that I read about the first days of the 1956 revolution.
This week, people began demostrating after a tape was leaked in which the prime minister admitted to lying to the public in order to win the election last April. On Tuesday night, the protests became violent as uglier elements of the crowd stormed the state run television station and looted it. Cars were set on fire. There was also a protest in front of the socialist’s headquarters. Today the protesters are not met with tanks and bullets, as in 1956, but by water cannons and tear gas.
The current prime minister made comments at his socialists’ party retreat in May, just after being re-elected. He admitted that the party had not done anything in the government for the previous 4 years and that they had lied about the state of the economy and planned reforms. One of his comments was that, “We lied in the morning, we lied in the evening…” Supposely he made the comments as part of a speech to wake up the party to the economic situation that has been lied about for at least the past four years. A tape of this speech was leaked to the public on Sunday. The prime minister is claiming that his comments did not only include his party but the previous governments of the last 10-15 years.
From what I read, the demonstrations last night were peaceful but there are fears that they could turn violent again over the weekend. I think this current situation highlights the moral crisis in this country. It is a moral crisis with its roots in the communist system and the atheistic philosophies which provide no basis for morality.
One of the reasons that I continue to go back to Hungary is to address this issue with individuals as I explain how the God who created them wants to have a personal relationship with them. Only Christ can transform our corrupt hearts and lives. I just pray that Hungarians will find Christ in the midst of the current turmoil.