8th July, 2016
A year of commemorations and reflections surrounding the 600th anniversary of the execution of 15th century Czech reformer Jan Hus was brought to a close in Prague this week with an ecumenical prayer service in the Bethlehem Chapel - a site closely associated with his ministry.
The 6th July ceremony, which was was featured in a 90 minute broadcast on Czech Television, commemorated a range of national and religious figures who, as well as Hus, also included Jerome of Prague.
The date, which is the day upon which Hus was burnt at the stake in 1415, is a national holiday in the Czech Republic and honors the martyr for the courage he showed in speaking out for Biblical authority at a time when the church was deeply divided and for the support he gave to the rights of all people in his native kingdom, Bohemia.
Living a century before Martin Luther, Hus opposed practices such as the sale of indulgences and called for the propagation of the Gospel in the local language as well as for other reforms in the church.
- DAVID ADAMS (with World Council of Churches)