The Hungarianized form of ’evangelical’ is EVANGÉLIKUS and as an adjective denominates the members of the Hungarian Lutheran Church (Magyar Evangélikus Egyház) established in the 16th century. The most prominent Lutheran Church is the one in the city center at Deák tér built in 1808 (see photo).

Another term that often confuses overseas visitors is the Hungarianized form of the term ’reformed’ i.e. REFORMÁTUS meaning Calvinist. The MAGYAR REFORMÁTUS EGYHÁZ (Hungarian Reformed Church) is the largest protestant denomination in Hungary with around 20% of this multi-religious country (while the Lutherans amount to 5%). The most renown REFORMÁTUS TEMPLOM (Reformed Church) is the one at Kálvin tér, an important landmark of the city (see photo).

KÁLVIN TÉRI templom

Mind the difference between TEMPLOM and EGYHÁZ, both meaning ’church’ in English. It may be surprising to foreigners to know that at the end of the sixteenth century 80-90% of the inhabitants of historic Hungary were Protestant but due to the forced re-Catholization by the Habsburgs after the expulsion of the Turks in the late 17th century turned the statistics to 60% in favor of the MAGYAR KATOLIKUS EGYHÁZ (Hungarian Catholic Church).

When you see a protestant church can you sort out whether it’s an EVANGÉLIKUS or REFORMÁTUS? If not, we can help in another post.