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The free practice of Christian faith provides a competitive advantage in today’s world, President Katalin Novák told a thanksgiving worship service and ceremony closing out the Hungarian Reformed Church’s nationwide kindergarten programme in Kunszentmiklós, in central Hungary, on Sunday. In her speech, the president expressed thanks for the 66 Reformed kindergartens that have been built or renovated across the country over the last four years. Novák also gave thanks for the 1,300 Reformed churches that have been renovated and the 55 that have been built across the Carpathian Basin in the last 13 years. The leadership of the Hungarian Reformed Church does not just settle for survival, but intends to grow, she said, adding that the church had what was needed to make this happen. The president said she was also thankful that more and more parents wanted to equip their children with knowledge of Christianity and faith, and that Christian communities were being kept alive. Novák noted that the nationwide kindergarten programme has helped create 450 jobs linked to the Reformed Church and Christianity and that the number of kindergarten teacher applications had doubled compared with previous years.
Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told the same event that good kindergartens and schools were needed in order for the country to make progress. Communities that are strong in their faith and unity and work to achieve goals that go beyond themselves are also necessary, Gulyás said. The government has allocated 35 billion forints (EUR 90.8m) towards the Reformed Church’s nationwide kindergarten programme, he said. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is building, upgrading and expanding 128 kindergartens from 67 billion forints, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church is spending 10 billion on building or upgrading 13 kindergartens, he added.