President Katalin Novák attended a mass for Advent at the Berehove (Beregszász) Reformed Church in western Ukraine on Sunday and said it was a privilege to light the first candle of Advent in the company of ethnic Hungarians from Transcarpathia.
She prayed together with members of the local community at a mass delivered by Fábián Sándor Zán, the bishop of the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia. Novák said that this March, soon after the start of the war, she had been praying for peace in the company of seventy reformed pastors in the same church. “There are fifteen million Hungarians here now in spirit from Hungary, all parts of the Carpathian Basin and from the diasporas,” she added. The president assured the ethnic Hungarians that “we are together and we will stay together, no matter how difficult life is in Transcarpathia, no matter how difficult and challenging it is to be Hungarian”. Novák said that during the past nine months, the war could destroy homes, roads and lives but “the war cannot destroy love”. “Hungary will give shelter to all refugees and they can stay as long as they have to,” she added. During her visit in Berehove, she laid a wreath at the memorial plaque of former President Ferenc Mádl at the Ferenc Rákóczi II. Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education.