Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia
Until 1918 the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia was part of the Reformed Church in Hungary, which was already firmly established in 1567. The Counter-Reformation of the 17th century, backed by the military might of the Habsburgs, brought severe measures against the Reformed congregations and lasted until the end of the 18th century. The Edict of Tolerance issued by the emperor in 1781 granted religious freedom. Unlike the rich and powerful Roman Catholic Church, which enjoyed special state privileges, the Reformed Church has always been a minority church. By the Treaty of Trianon (1920) part of the Hungarian territory was allocated to the newly created Czechoslovak Republic. About 245,000 Christians, constituting the Reformed Christian Church of Slovakia, were living in that area, which also included Sub-Carpathia. Following World War II, Sub-Carpathia was assigned to the Soviet Union (Ukraine). As a result of this partition and of the forced expulsion of the Hungarian minority from Slovakia in 1946-1947, the membership of the church decreased to about 115,000. Since then the number has followed the general downward trend of the population due to a declining birth rate.
The Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia is based doctrinally on the Heidelberg Catechism and the Second Helvetic Confession. From the 16th century onwards, Sunday afternoon services have been devoted to teaching, using the two Confessions. In view of increasing secularization, the synod tries hard to ensure that teaching in new and contemporary forms remains an essential ingredient in the life of congregations. The church is organized into nine classes, seven Hungarian and two Slovakian. More than 87 percent of the members are Hungarian speaking, the others speak Slovak.