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Czech Celebrations of Jan Hus Offer Opportunities to Proclaim the Gospel!

Tue, Jul 14, 2015

Czech Republic, News

This story is shared with us by Globally Engaged in Outreach (GEO) Missionary Denise Schlesselman, who serves the Lord through The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the Czech Republic. Denise works with youth through teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL), English talk groups, English camps, visiting local schools and more.

Denise Schlesselman sang with other choirs in the main square in Prague during the commemoration of Jan Hus on July 6, 2015. Photos Courtesy of Richard Sovitzky

Denise Schlesselman sang with other choirs in the main square in Prague during the commemoration of Jan Hus on July 6, 2015. Photos Courtesy of Richard Sovitzky

–By Denise Schlesselman

Jan Hus was a Catholic priest who lived in Bohemia in the late 1300’s. He studied the Bible and was greatly influenced by John Wycliffe’s teachings. He held positions as a professor of theology, priest and dean and later rector of the philosophical faculty. In Betlehem Church in Prague, he preached in the Czech language and supported the idea that all people should be able to read the Bible in their own language. Other ideas supported by him were the use of both the bread and wine in communion (later a major hallmark of Martin Luther’s reforms as well, as the laity were only given the host under Roman Catholic teaching) and the rejection of the divine appointment of the pope. For these ideas he was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake on July 6, 1415. Many of these ideas were also ideas that Luther fought against. Indeed Luther agreed Hus had been wrongly condemned.

Denise Schlesselman serves in the Czech Republic and was able to take part in the commemoration of Jan Hus, an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel through the history of this priest, to many who are unchurched. Photos Courtesy of Richard Sovitzky

Denise Schlesselman serves in the Czech Republic and was able to take part in the commemoration of Jan Hus, an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel through the history of this priest, to many who are unchurched. Photos Courtesy of Richard Sovitzky

Jan Hus is seen as hero of the people of the Czech Republic. This year marks the 600th anniversary of Jan Hus’ death. The city of Prague hosted quite a celebration on July 5th and 6th. Although the celebration officially started with opening remarks on Sunday evening, there were many events earlier on Sunday also.  They included choirs, orchestras, dramas and tourism activities related to Jan Hus.

A statue of Jan Hus in Prague. Photos Courtesy of Richard Sovitzky

A statue of Jan Hus in Prague. Photos Courtesy of Richard Sovitzky

Photos Courtesy of Richard Sovitzky

Photos Courtesy of Richard Sovitzky

Monday July 6th started with a procession to the Jan Hus statue. Monday was also a day filled with activities related to Jan Hus. There were talks about Hus, more dramas, orchestras, choirs and activities. Along with experiencing several of the activities, I was participant in one of these events. The choir from our church in Karviná was part of a large Christian choir of about 150 members. We had two events. The first event was several songs with the mass choir in the main square in Prague. Some of the songs were Kristus Příklad Pokury, Vládce Světa Bože Nás and Buoh Všemohuci. (Christ Humble Servant, God Ruler of the World, God Almighty). What a joy to be able to proclaim God’s word in song to a wide variety of the population.

  • Pray for Denise as she works and lives in the Czech Republic.
  • Read more about Denise’s work.

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