Ask no man

No More Contention is the pursuit of clarity, charity and understanding. Contention arises from the compulsion to have others agree with us. Seeking understanding in an environment of clarity and charity produces no more contention. As Joseph Smith said, "I will ask no man to believe as I do."

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Three broad categories

In a sense, contention is inevitable and unavoidable because every individual is unique, and no two people agree on everything.  Ideally, we...

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Košice, then and now

Košice, Slovakia, is a good example of "no more contention" because, despite its violent history, the city is now prosperous and peaceful, even in the face of ongoing challenges. 

Last night we attended a Catholic mass here in Košice, Slovakia. About half the residents here are Roman Catholic, by far the most common religion here.

The location of the service, the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth, is the largest church in Slovakia.

The service was well attended, mainly with lots of children and young parents. When I mentioned this to a friend of mine who has spent time here, he was surprised and speculated the attendance may have resulted from the war in Ukraine.

I haven't seen reporting that the war has prompted more religious sentiment in this area, but that seems possible. (To be sure, religion plays an important role in the Ukraine war, but that's not the topic of this post. See, e.g.,

Cathedral of St. Elizabeth
Košice is only about 45 miles from the Ukraine border. After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Košice became a major center for helping Ukraininan refugees.

Because I don't know either Slovakian or Ukrainian, it occurred to me that the service may have been conducted in Ukrainian by Ukrainian priests for Ukrainian refugees. Only around 10% of Ukrainians are Catholic; most are Eastern Orthodox.

When we were driving here, we passed two long convoys of military vehicles going the other direction on the freeway. Whether the convoys were supporting the Ukrainian military or conducting other activities I have no idea, but definitely the war impacts local life here in Košice.

The Slovakian Air Force Academy is located near Košice as well. 

All of this relates to the history of this city. Wikipedia has a good summary.

"The first written reference to the Hungarian town of Košice (as the royal village – Villa Cassa) comes from 1230. After the Mongol invasion in 1241, King Béla IV of Hungary invited German colonists (see: Zipser Germans, Germans of Hungary) to fill the gaps in population. The city was in the historic Abauj County of the Kingdom of Hungary.

The city was made of two independent settlements: Lower Kassa and Upper Kassa, amalgamated in the 13th century around the long lens-formed ring, of today's Main Street. The first known town privileges come from 1290.[16] The city proliferated because of its strategic location on an international trade route from agriculturally rich central Hungary to central Poland, itself along a greater route connecting the Balkans and the Adriatic and Aegean seas to the Baltic Sea. The privileges given by the king were helpful in developing crafts, business, increasing importance (seat of the royal chamber for Upper Hungary), and for building its strong fortifications.[5] In 1307, the first guild regulations were registered here and were the oldest in the Kingdom of Hungary."

There is much more history involving political and religious controversies. In modern times, the citizens here were directly affected by World War I. In World War II, the Germans occupied the city and deported its 12,000 Jewish residents to concentration camps. When the Russians took over, they expelled the ethnic Germans who lived here.

Today, it's difficult to imagine the extreme contention that once prevailed here for centuries. The city is peaceful and fairly prosperous. Religious diversity is respected and appreciated. People get along despite their religious, cultural, and other differences.

Unity in diversity.... 


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