I am sorry that I always have to start way back. First, a few words about the Hungarian Reformed Church. It is a Protestant denomination whose teachings go back to Calvin. It became well established in Hungary during the time that parts of the country were under Turkish rule. On the whole the Turkish overlords didn't interfere in church affairs, so Protestant preachers were free to wander around and "convert" the village folks. According to some estimates by the end of the sixteenth century 80-90% of the population had turned to the teachings of either Luther (especially the German-speaking and to some extent the Slovak population) or Calvin.
Gáspár Károli (or as we would write it today Károlyi) was the Calvinist minister of Gönc, a small town about 60 kilometers from Miskolc. In typical Hungarian fashion, his original name was either Radics or Radisics and he was baptized as an Eastern Orthodox. Therefore it is likely that his family was of Serbian origin. Because he was born in Nagykároly (Carei in Romanian) he changed his name to Károli. He was the man who translated the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, into Hungarian. He began this monumental work in 1586 and he must have worked rapidly because by 1589 the printing of the Bible began and by 1591 it was finished. Soon thereafter Károli died. Financial support to print the Bible came from Transylvanian Prince Sigismund Rákóczi.
The Hungarian Reformed Church is perhaps the largest Calvinist community in the world. The leaders of the church like to point out all the sufferings their followers had to endure during the Counter Reformation when for a good one hundred years Hungarian Calvinists had a very rough time. Catholicism in their eyes meant Habsburg, foreign rule and oppression, while they looked upon themselves as the standard bearers of Hungarian national traditions. Even non-religious people were proud that their ancestors stuck it out. It didn't matter how much pressure was brought to bear upon them, they endured. After a century of brutal oppression came the Edictum Tolerantiae, the Toleration Act of 1781, that made the lives of Hungarian Calvinists more tolerable. Because of their stubborn adherence to the faith they are called "stiff-necked Calvinists" in Hungary.
It was certainly more comfortable to be a Catholic in Hungary, even in the twentieth century. Although on paper the so-called "accepted churches," including the Hungarian Reformed Church, were equal, the Catholic Church had a privileged position if for no other reason than its vast land holdings and incredible wealth acquired over the centuries. The Hungarian Calvinist churches were practically penniless. While the Catholic Church ran hundreds of schools, the Protestants had only a handful.
In 1948 practically all parochial schools were nationalized. After 1989, however, the churches could reclaim the schools they once ran. It was a fantastic deal for the churches. The government pays for the education of the children while the churches have jurisdiction over them. Not bad. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more evident that some of these parochial schools are nurturing right extremism.
There were no religiously affiliated universities in Hungary before the 1990s. Of course, the churches had seminaries where theology was taught to future priests and ministers, but all universities were secular. Since that time both the Catholics and the Protestants have established their own universities. The Protestant Gáspár Károli Hungarian Reformed University is developing a rather bad reputation because of low standards and its identification with extreme right-wing views. Practically the whole leadership of Jobbik studied at Károli.
Bishop Lóránt Hegedűs who today gives fiery speeches while flanked by uniformed members of the Hungarian Guard was instrumental in the establishment of the university. His son, also called Lóránt, is a loud-mouthed anti-Semite. Gábor Vona, head of Jobbik, was a student at Károli. So was Csanád Szegedi, currently a member of the three-person Jobbik delegation to the European Parliament in Brussels. Dávid Kovács, the first chairman of Jobbik, teaches "intellectual history between the two world wars" at Károli. Zsolt Attila Borbély from Romania is a political scientist who also teaches at Károli; he was on the Jobbik European parliamentary list.
When Mária Vásárhelyi and her team published a study about students of history and their attitude toward Jews and Gypsies and found that Károli's students were especially anti-Semitic and racist, Dávid Kovács responded that "Mária Vásárhelyi and her team mix up rascism and anti-Semitism with national feeling that is indeed strong at universities especially among those who study history." I'm sure his courses go a long way toward instilling this "national feeling." By the way, in 2004 a young guy burned an Israeli flag. He turned out to be a student from Károli.
Something is very wrong at Károli and it's not just ideology. The university seems to be run as a family business. Apparently many of those who hold important posts in the administration and head departments are related to each other. The list of "relatives" is very long.
But most disturbing is the fact that these universities are financed with public money. Public money is being used to inculcate a new generation with the ideas of the Hungarian extreme right.