Founded in Cluj in 1556 by the hitherto Calvinist minister David Ferenc (1520–79), the Unitarian Church had its origins among the Italian and Spanish humanists and some of the more extreme Anabaptists. Unitarianism derives its name from its rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity, as well as other basic doctrines such as the divinity of Christ, his atonement for the sins of the world, and thus the possibility of salvation. However, its significance lies in its undogmatic approach – adherents are conspicuous for their devotion to liberty and reason in matters of religion and their exercise of tolerance to all sincere forms of religious faith.

By 1568 Unitarianism was already accepted as one of the four official churches of Transylvania; it spread worldwide and by the 1830s had mutated to become the religion, for instance, of the Boston/Harvard establishment, with an emphasis on scientific progress and material success. In Romania there are now around 75,000 Unitarians, almost all Hungarian-speaking.

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