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This treaty turned Hungary into a small truncated country, with only 28.5 percent of its former territory (35,900 square miles versus 125,600 square miles) and 36.5 percent of its former population (7.6 million versus 20.9 million).Trianon Hungary became "a kingdom without a king" under the regency of Admiral Nicholas Horthy (who ruled from 1920 to 1944), who devoted most of the country's energies to the effort to regain at least some of Hungary's territorial losses.According to statistics compiled in 1992, 67.8 percent of Hungarians are Catholic, 20.9 percent Calvinist (Reformed), and 4.2 percent Lutheran (Evangelical).The three religious groups together make up 92.9 percent of the population.This compromise—engineered by Francis Deák (1803-1876) and Emperor Franz Joseph (who ruled from 1848 to 1916)—resulted in the dual state of Austria-Hungary, which played a significant role in European power-politics until nationality problems and involvement in World War I on the German side resulted in its dissolution in 1918-1919.
The religious revival following the collapse of communism, however— which includes the return of organized religious education—is in the process of changing this lack of attention to religion.Communist excesses and the relaxation that followed Stalin's death in 1953 led to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the most significant anti-Soviet uprising of the postwar period.Put down by Soviet military intervention, it was followed by a brief period of retribution and then by a new communist regime under János Kádár (who ruled from 1956 to 1988), who initiated a policy of political liberalization (1962) and economic reform (known as the New Economic Mechanism of 1968).Medieval Hungarian traditions count even the fifth-century Huns among the Magyars' ancestors, but their immediate forebears arrived in the Carpathian Basin as late as the seventh century.
Known as the "late Avars," they established the center of their empire in the region that is part of modern Hungary.
Of the remaining portion, 2.3 percent belong to several minor denominations (Greek or Byzantine Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Baptist, Adventist), while 4.8 percent claim no religious affiliation.