ContextFrom its earliest days, the Moravian Church has been characterized by missionary zeal. Moravian missionaries have travelled to the remotest corners of the earth to spread God's Word and be charitable to the poor and needy. MCF, the Moravian Church Foundation, is the organization that provides necessary financial funding to ensure charity to continue. This is achieved by participating in and supporting companies in numerous countries.
In the course of its existence, MCF has acquired a large number of companies in which it actively participates. These companies are not the inevitable result of a previous missionary mission. However, they definitely have a specific aim: 'conscientious entrepreneurship' with part of the profits being invested in projects initiated by the Moravians. Numerous goals are realized with MCF funding: theological training of ministers and other church officials, translation of books, building of schools, support for medical work etc.
Since 2004, all companies are transferred to the fully owned MCF-BE enterprise, that owns and governs MCF's assets.
Nowadays, it's easily to say that Church and business is a combination that might cause astonishment. But we at MCF are grateful that we have succeeded in accomplishing a harmonious unity between the two. Experience teaches us that this serves both religious and social purposes. The means available owing to trading results are placed at the disposal of the church and serve to finance, among other things, projects in developing countries. And this flawlessly brings us back to the old ideals and convictions of the first Brothers who embraced missionary work.
The Moravian Church, or Unitas Fratrum, is one of the oldest Reformational religious community. More than a century before the theses of Martin Luther were attached to the Wittenberg church door, the first signs of resistance against the then powerful Roman Catholic church were noticeable in Bohemia. Jan Hus, a simple farmer's son, who had been ordained as a priest after his graduation from Prague University rose against the authority from Rome. The direct cause was the trade in so-called indulgences offering an opportunity to every sinner to secure a place in heaven. The true reasons behind the protests of Hus were, of course, a more profound nature. In those days, the Pope's temporal powers were not ignored. The money raised by the indulgences was used for warfare and personal enrichment of the ecclesiastical authorities. Jan Hus was convinced that God and God alone could forgive our sins. He also preached in his vernacular, the Czech language, and this was a thorn in the flesh of the Latin speaking Church of Rome. A reaction of the church was bound to follow. In 1410, Hus was placed under a 'ban' forbidding him to preach, something he ignored. The number of followers steadily grew to some thousands, particularly among tradesmen and students. However, they could not prevent Hus from being accused of heresy and being burnt at the stake in 1415. Actually, Hus was the first martyr of the Moravian Church, and many were to follow.