Celebrating the Anniversary of Religious Tolerance
On January 13, 2018, one of the world’s first statements of religious tolerance will have its 450th anniversary. In 1568, in the city of Torda, in what is now Romania, a religious gathering presided over by Unitarian King John Sigismund proclaimed:
“…In every place the preachers shall preach and explain the Gospel each according to his understanding of it, and if the congregation like it, well. If not, no one shall compel them for their souls would not be satisfied, but they shall be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve. Therefore none of the superintendents or others shall abuse the preachers, no one shall be reviled for his religion by anyone, according to the previous statutes, and it is not permitted that anyone should threaten anyone else by imprisonment or by removal from his post for his teaching. For faith is the gift of God and this comes from hearing, which hearing is by the word of God.”
Unitarianism was officially recognized for the first time in the history of the world in the Edict of Torda. And
that proclamation is the beginning of our legacy to be a spiritual tradition that resists hatred, oppression, and the narrow view that there is only one way to be faithful, to be religious, to be free.
Source: UUA – https://www.uua.org/international/torda450
Image courtesy of UUA International Office