A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Chapter 12

Batschka Churches

By Josef Schramm
Translation by Brad Schwebler

   After the war the “South Slavic Reformed Christina Church” was established.  The bishop resided in Feketitsch, the seat of the German Seniorats was in Neu-Werbass.

   There were individual Lutheran Germans in the Batschka already before the governing time of Joseph the II, but they were still not allowed to assemble in church congregations at the time.  This first changed with the religious patent of the emperor, which followed with the migration of numerous Lutherans.  In 1791 the communities of the Batschka and Syrmia were assigned to a particular Dekanat of the Hungarian Evangelical Church.  After World War I the “German Evangelical Christian Church of the Augsberg Denomination in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia” was established.  The seat of the bishops was in Agram, the seat of the Batschka Seniorats was in Kleinker.

   The Catholics in the Batschka in the middle ages belonged to the archdiocese of Kalotscha, which had its own cathedral capital in Batsch.  During Turkish times the Batschka again went to “Kalotscha and Batsch” archbishop again took up residence in Kalotscha, there were only nine pastors in the whole Batschka.  The number of Catholics increased with the settlement of the Germans and Hungarians.  After World War I an apostolic administrator was used in the South Slavic part, while the Hungarian part continued to be placed under the archbishop.  In 1944 71 of the 125 pastors preached in the German language.

   Many of the repatriates from the United States brought with them religious denominations from overseas which were not represented in the Batschka beforehand.  Some churches or prayer houses had the Methodists, Baptists, or the Adventists.  The Nazarenes were repreatedly forbidden, while on the other hand the Old Catholics were allowed.  Only individual Germans were Orthodox or Greek Catholic.

   According to a half official survey from July 1944 the 250,000 Germans of the Batschka were arranged in religions as follows: 

  • 170,000 Roman Catholic

  • 55,000 Evangelical A.B.

  • 15,000 Reformed H.B.

  • 5,000 Christian sects (Methodists, Baptists, Adventist, Nazarene)

  • 5,000 Others 

   In the year 1900, according to the corresponding census here are the official Hungarian statistics:

  • 138,465 Roman Catholic

  • 38,871 Evangelical A.B.

  • 11,673 Reformed H.B.

  • 121 Other Christian

  • 3,137 Others

  • 192,267 Germans

[Published at 19 Sep 2005 by Jody McKim Pharr]

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