The flag of the Hungarian Unitarian Church and the Transylvanian Unitarian Church

Get to know our partners and their culture, past and present!

Download a Printable Brochure about the Partner Church Program

Our Partner Church in Kézdivásárhely, Transylvania, Romania

Visitors from our Partner Church

Pilgrimages to our Partner Church

Unitarians in Transylvania

Mission of the UU Partner Church Council

Sermons and writings about our partnership

Getting to Know More About Our Friends at Our Partner Church

Other Related Links


Our Partner Church in Kézdivásárhely, Transylvania

 2014KezdiCong sz


Our partnership with the Unitarian Church of Kézdivásárhely, Transylvania formally began by congregational vote in 1997.  Our partnership is under the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council program.  Transylvania was the birthplace of Unitarianism in 1565 and the Unitarian Church has persevered through centuries of hardships.  Ethnically Hungarian, Transylvanians have suffered under the Romanian governments of the past decades.

The Unitarian Church of Kézdivásárhely has approximately 80 members. 

Our partnership continues under the Rev. Istvan Buzogany-Csoma, who lives in the village of SzentivanLaborfalva with his wife and two daughters.

What does this "partnership" mean for us? Among other things:

  • We agreed to work together to establish a spiritually stimulating, mutually respectful, culturally sensitive, active, long-term collaboration with another congregation;

  • We agreed to identify ways in which we could provide support for their church and its members;

  • We committed ourselves and our children to learn from and about them in order to enhance our own understanding of our religious heritage and the people of other cultures who share it with us.

We grew our relationship under the partner church’s original minister, Rev. Maria Pap.  In 2012, She and her family moved Kolozsvár to become the Bishop’s administrative assistant.  Maria is now the senior minister at the Old Meeting House, a Unitarian church in Mansfield, England. 

If you would like to get involved in this program or have questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 In April, 2021, the Partner Church group gave an overview of our UUAA partner church program and Q&A session that was recorded over Zoom. You can watch this "Congregational Life" session by clicking on this YouTube video (length 32:43)



For photos of pilgrimages we have taken to visit our partners, see the Pilgrimages page.

Szentivanlaborfalva a

We have enjoyed getting to know the current minister of our partner church, the Rev. István Buzogány-Csoma, his wife Csilla and daughters Boglárka and Eszter .  He visited us in Fall 2013 and in 2017.

You can view photos of the visits:

           2013 visit photos...

          2017 visit photos...

Rev. István Buzogány-Csoma and his family live in the nearby village of SzentivanLaborfalva, where he is also the Unitarian minister. Small groups from UUAA travelled to Kézdivásárhely to visit in 2014 and 2018.

Szentivanlaborfalva2018 visit to Szentivanlaborfalva



As Rev. Maria Pap said in a sermon delivered to our congregation in 2007, "In every partnership, be it between individuals or communities, there comes a time when there is a longing for depth, a longing for a vision of where this particular partnership is going, of where this long walk is going to take us."

For the twentieth anniversary of the Partner Church program, Maria contributed to the written program with a paper called 'Inspiration'.  If you would like to read Rev. Maria's sermons and other sermons and writings about our Partnershipplease follow this link.


Visitors from Transylvania

 We have enjoyed having visits from our Partner Church family and other Transylvanian Unitarians.  Follow this link for photographs and to read more about our visitors.


Pilgrimages to Transylvania

Over thirty UUAA congregation members and friends have travelled to visit our Partner Church in Kézdivásárhely since we became partners in 1997.  To read more about the trips and view photos, follow this link.


Unitarians in Transylvania

 The birthplace of Unitarianism was in Transylvania, then a part of Hungary, in 1565.  Unitarianism flourished there briefly during the Reformation and then endured harsh persecution. Transylvania’s geographic position, caught between east and west, linguistically and ethnically Hungarian, made the position of Unitarians even more perilous.  After World War I, the land area of Transylvania was transferred politically to Romania, but it never became Romanian in anything other than nationality.  World War II was especially difficult, as the country was invaded by opposing forces and the political situation swung from one to the other.  Jews, Roma, Unitarians, and other smaller ethnic groups were pursued and often sent to hard labor or extermination camps.  After the war ended, the Communist regime continued the campaign against religious and ethnic minorities. 

But Transylvanian Unitarians continue to practice their faith, maintaining ethnic and faith traditions that are now more than 400 years old.  The Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council was founded in June 1993 to focus and coordinate the enormous grassroots energy of dozens of UU churches which had formed partnerships with Unitarian churches in Central Europe following the collapse of Communism in December 1989.  There had been programs established in the 1920s, but most had not been sustained during the Communist years.  Most have been established or re-established since the fall of Communism.

Hungarian-speaking Transylvanians continue to struggle to survive in the Romanian government system.  Many have not had their land and property returned to them since 1989.  The Partner Church programs such as ours have contributed support, both financial and personal, to their fellow churches.  The model of their faith and perseverance has strengthened us in return.

Here is a reflection on what we gain from our partnership:

“When I close my eyes, I see the faces of the people of my partner village and remember the things I learned from them.
They taught me about trust.
They taught me about perseverance in spite of repeated hardships. 
They demonstrated the value of community. 
And they showed me again how to experience joy in the simple things of life.”
—Leta Thornton


Mission of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council

 The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council is to foster and support partner relationships between UU congregations and individuals in the United States and Canada with Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist congregations, orphanages, schools and students in all other countries where partnering is sought and welcomed.  These will be of high quality, firmly based, mutually beneficial, responsibly sustained, and linked by a joint and mutual covenant.

We will:
BE a bridge that connects congregations around the world;
REACH across boundaries to collaborate with old and new partners;
CREATE transformational opportunities for pilgrimage and hospitality, for learning and for service;
CHALLENGE ourselves theologically and open ourselves to changed values and behaviors;
ESTABLISH global community as a common commitment of liberal religion;
INITIATE partnerships that promote global friendships, international awareness, human rights, and a better world; and
SUSTAIN this global vision, enlarging and renewing it as new occasions teach new duties.


Get to know our partners and their culture, past and present!

Bread Making:

Bread is still made the old way in the little village of Szentivanlaborfalva, Transylvania, where our Partner Church minister, Istvan, and wife Csilla and children live.


We were fortunate to get some videos on the process, which we put together for you to see. You’ll be viewing a community baker throughout the process, from kneading and rising, heating up the brick oven and removing the coals, putting the bread dough in, and seeing  it through to a blackened crust. After a bit of cooling, they beat the burnt parts off with sticks, this picture shows.


We are also fortunate to have Hajnal Minger on our Partner Church team. Hajnal grew up in Transylvania, and she has written an essay about her experiences as a child watching/participating with her grandmother in the process. Take a look at the essay.

Enjoy this bread making video:



Links to Related Information

 More about the UU Partner Churches: Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council web site

More about our Transylvanian roots: UUA Pamphlet: Unitarian Universalist Origins; Our Historic Faith

You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information.