Ferenc Dávid

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This tattered life is my only robe; the wind my only refuge.
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We need not think alike to love alike.

Ferenc Dávid (151015 November 1579) was the founder of the Unitarian Church in Transylvania; also known as Francis David and Frances David.


  • Neither the sword of popes, nor the cross, nor the image of death — nothing will halt the march of truth. I wrote what I felt and that is what I preached with trusting spirit. I am convinced that after my destruction the teachings of false prophets will collapse.
    • His last words, a message he carved onto the walls of his dungeon cell, as quoted in For Faith and Freedom (1997) by Charles A. Howe; also quoted on their web page about the Transylvania Unitarian Church by the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston.

Quotes about Dávid

  • The Unitarian Church in Transylvania still survives on the thought that may be regarded as part of our historical heritage, first uttered in 1568 at the Parliament in Torda. There and then, under the influence of Ferenc David, for the first time in the world, tolerance and the freedom of conscience were proclaimed. This edict became the basis of Transylvanian spirituality. It has survived centuries — and is still vivid — due to the recognition of interdependence and a correct interpretation of the word tolerance. When, in the 18th century, the very existence of our Church was in danger, after the peril disappeared a saying spread among people: "they love one another as the Unitarians do."
    • Dr. Arpád Szabó, Unitarian Bishop of Romania, as quoted in "From these Roots" (a PDF document). The edict of 1568 he refers to stated "It is not permitted for anyone to intimidate anyone with captivity or expulsion for his teaching." This is considered by some historians as the first legal guarantee of religious freedom in Christian Europe

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