Church of Brethren
The historical origins of the Church of the Brethren are connected to the activities of Petr Chelčický who is considered to be the founder of the Unity of the Brethren (1457). In world literature, this movement is usually called “Moravian Brethren” or “Unitas Fratrum”. In Slovakia, congregations of the Church of the Brethren were formed mainly in the 20th century. The current Church of the Brethren, which adopted this name in 1967, came into being by the fusion of two awakening movements at the time of political changes after World War II. At that time, the Unity of the Bohemian Brethren, ideologically drawing on Chelčický and on Comenius’s Unity of the Brethren, was already well established in Czechoslovakia. In Slovakia, several members of the Blue Cross Evangelical abstinence movement of homeland mission, repatriates arriving from Hungary, and certain Moravian-Silesian congregations, joined this movement as a result of the dissolution of the church communities by the Communists. The Church of the Brethren has its congregations in Bratislava (1926), Žilina, Prešov (1923), Košice, Levice and other places (14 in total). At the time of socialist and atheistic dictatorship, the Church of the Brethren was under government supervision and was strictly scrutinized. Nevertheless, it managed to publish samizdat editions of literature and hymnals and release recordings of albums which were in sharp contrast to the socialist ideology of Marxism and Leninism. In 1959, the Communists arrested, convicted and imprisoned Ondrej Lupták, Vladislav Matej, Ján Rosa and Ján Holý from Stará Turá for the fictitious crime of subverting the republic. They were released from prison on amnesty after 11 months on 9 May 1960. Later, they were fully rehabilitated but continued their activities in the underground church. Juraj Potúček, for example, was dismissed from his job in the Slovak Academy of Sciences after issuing a samizdat about the music of the Royová sisters. Many believers faced similar problems. In 1967, the name of the Union of the Bohemian Brethren was changed to Church of the Brethren and, in 1975, they started constructing a prayer hall in Cukrová Street in Bratislava. In 1997, they established a primary school called Narnia-Bratislava and, later, the C. S. Lewis Bilingual High School in Bratislava (2004). Also, they deployed charity activities by several institutions called Betánia [Bethany]. Currently, the collections of samizdat books, hymnals and recordings are available in the libraries of the various congregations in Slovakia.
Bratislava Cukrová 4, Slovakia 811 08
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Date of founding
Author(s) of this page
- Kajanová, Yvetta
Last edited on: 2019-02-15 09:30:35