Ecumenical tradition revived in Prekmurje

Murska Sobota – An ecumenical tradition where leaders of different churches from the north-eastern region Prekmurje take a stroll together was revived in Murska Sobota today, featuring Catholic Bishop Peter Štumpf, Bishop Leon Novak of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church, and Pastor Daniel Grabar of the Evangelical Pentecostal Church.

In 1920 the Catholic and Evangelical priests had taken a stroll in the city together. In 1926, they were joined by the Jewish rabbi to show to the people how important mutual respect and harmony was, according to Novak, who came up with the idea to revive this tradition.

“The fruit of this is still here, Prekmurje is known to be ecumenical and we would like to preserve this tradition, so we revived it in this pre-Christmas time … to show that we respect each other, live in peace and that we want to continue this tradition,” Novak said.

Štumpf added that regardless of the holidays, they were cooperating extensively in every-day matters, and conducted joint talks and prayers.

Grabar said the Pomurje was known for joining forces in tough times and that this unity despite religious and other differences had helped them achieve a lot.

“With today’s symbolic stroll we do not only want to follow an example from the past but also send the message that we need to understand each other, overcome divisions and set different foundations with personal actions, the foundations of connection,” Grabar said.

All three also called for vaccination as a way of joining forces and beating the epidemic.