The Carpathian Mountains, Alps and Dinaric Alps surround Hungary, a mostly flat, landlocked country in central Europe. The Danube River, which flows north to south, divides Hungary and bisects its capital, Budapest. Lake Balaton, a popular tourist attraction, is the largest lake in central Europe. Most of the population is of Magyar (Hungarian) descent and the Hungarian language is unlike any of its neighbors.
Once part of the Russian communist bloc, Hungary was the first state to leave communism and to successfully establish a stable democratic government. Although Hungary is limited in natural resources, it has had growth in its industrial base and has productive agricultural land. Foreign investment and joining the EU has helped Hungary recover economically from its years under communist rule.
In the 1600's, a majority of the Hungarian population were Protestant, but after the Counter-Reformation, Catholicism spread widely throughout Hungary. During Communist control after World War II, all Christians faced persecution. Freedom of religion came with the end of communism in 1990. It also left the Christian churches without mature spiritual leadership or evangelists. Many Hungarians were hurting and questioned the many political and economic changes. Currently, 27% of the population is Protestant, while a majority (68%) is Catholic.