Christian Hungarian King Attracts Thousands

( [email protected] ) Jul 14, 2003 01:16 AM EDT

Thousands of Hungarians traveled to their neighbor country, Romania last week to attend the premiere of "Stephen the King," a rock opera, which commemorates St. Istvan, King Stephen, ANS reported on 11.

This king is the person who introduced Christianity in Hungary more than a millennium ago. About 350,000 people attended the premiere which shows the interest and love of Hungarians toward their king and the faith.

The biggest open-air performance in Hungarian theatrical life to date was likely to boost attendance when Hungary, a mainly Catholic nation, August 20.

This premiere came out after two decades since it had been shown in Budapest in 1983, when Romania was still a Soviet satellite state and occupied by Russian forces.

The composer of the opera, Szorenyi said that although the King Stephen had not started Hungary's change in regime, it had been an incredibly brave venture for many.

The opera also shows an eternal dilemma for the East Central European small peoples where to draw the line between national self-determination and European integration.

Also it seemed a reference to Church leaders who have always urged that Hungary shouldn't give up its Christian values when it joins the European Union in 2004.

But some leaders concerned that the influence of Satanist groups in previous centuries in the country, which long boosted one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

Assist News service reported that the preservation of traditions, which is persisted by President Ferenc Madl and First Lady Dalma Madl, might lead to a national and spiritual revival in Romania and Hungary. "Christians around the world has been praying for Hungary," Assist News service added.