Magnificent church buildings occupy places of prominence all throughout the city of Budapest. The central location of church buildings in the major squares of the city is reminiscent of an era in which the institution of the church played a significant role in the life of the city, regularly exerting its influence over many aspects of daily life. But times have changed, and the Budapest of today bears the scars of a godless, communist past while ushering in the reality of a post-Christian present.
While church buildings still remain at the physical centers of the city, the church in its traditional and historical forms and expressions seems to have lost its effectiveness. However, Hungarians are increasingly open to spiritual things, eager to experience Christian community, as expressed in a form that has relevance for them. True life-change will come about as followers of Jesus penetrate neighborhoods and communities, acting as salt, light, and leaven.
The Romani people make up between 5-10% of the Hungarian population, with numbers increasing rapidly and expected to double by 2050. It is estimated that 1 in 5 newborn Hungarian infants is a part of this minority people group that faces much discrimination, both within the general population as well as unfortunately within the Christian community. Poverty and unemployment are common challenges faced by the Hungarian Roma, and children and teens are at risk for a variety of challenges, including being trafficked into the commercial sex industry. An exciting community program / Christian ministry called "You and Me" is providing homework help and after-school activities for at-risk Roma youth, as well as establishing a church in a Roma settlement in inner-city Budapest.