In Kolozsvár mourners pay final respects to István Tőkés as an exemplary witness of a century

21 January 2016

At Farkas utca church in Kolozsvár mourners paid their final respects to Reformed Church pastor, church writer and professor of theology István Tőkés. Having lived into his one hundredth year, he was described as an exemplary witness of a century. István Tőkés was also the former Deputy Bishop of the Transylvanian Reformed Church Diocese, and father of László Tőkés.

In his eulogy Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described the Professor as the last representative of a generation “whose life began where historical Hungary came to an end”. He said that his destiny had been to preserve a sense of unity and integrity in a nation that had been shattered. “It was his generation that was tasked with handing down the gospel of the Hungarian nation’s survival at home, in school, in church and in public life”, Mr. Orbán pointed out.
The Prime Minister said that István Tőkés fought “with the weapons of the spirit and the soul” for his people and for justice, and believed that justice would set one free. He added that it was this conviction which made him a free man in war, dictatorship and democracy alike. Mr. Orbán also said that his life and work showed that the place to which his mission tied him did not prevent him from feeling responsibility for the entire world. The Prime Minister said that such a life is the privilege of a chosen few.
“I say farewell to him now on behalf of all of us who owe him thanks for his life, his faith, his loyalty, his courage, his teaching and his academic contribution. On behalf of all us whose responsibility it is to ensure that what he gave us Hungarians should never be forgotten and should not be needlessly lost. Let his entire life serve as a lesson to all of those whose mission in public life is to protect that which can be protected, as he himself put it in one of his last letters: to protect that which can be protected, and to build that which can be built”, the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Orbán added that we can and must build from the spirit left to us by the Hungarians laid to rest in Házsongárd Cemetery. He also said that “the coffin around which so many of us now stand does not symbolise hopelessness, but rather a ray of hope, the strength of faith and the strength of life”.
Béla Kató, Transylvanian Reformed Church Bishop, also paid tribute to István Tőkés as the witness of a century, highlighting the Professor’s fighting spirit. As he said, for István Tőkés Christian humility did not mean submission or resignation, but the determination to stand up for what is right.
“If we all followed his example in raising children, in showing courage and in standing up for justice, our survival would be guaranteed until the end of time”, the Bishop stated. He referred to the fact that the coffin of István Tőkés was surrounded by his eight children and 27 grandchildren.
The funeral of István Tőkés was attended by almost one thousand people at the Farkas utca church in Kolozsvár, from where the coffin was taken to Házsongárd Cemetery.

Text: MTI, Photo:

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  • Viktor Orbán, 52
  • Lawyer, graduated at Eötvös Loránd University and studied at Pembroke College, Oxford
  • Married to Anikó Lévai
  • They have five children: Ráhel, Gáspár, Sára, Róza, Flóra
  • Chairman of FIDESZ, vice-chairman of the European People's Party


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