After Tofü and Mekényes this is the third oldest German Lutheran settlement on the Dombovár Domain of the Esterhazys.  The arrival and settlement of these German colonists took place in 1756.  Most of them came from the Hessian villages of Tolna County but there had been other Germans before them.


  Johann Haass is named as a Godfather in the church records of Kismányok and is identified as a resident of “Kozar” in 1732.  We also know that there were Hungarian and Serbian settlers in the area and built a stone church approximating that time.


  The first group of German Lutheran settlers arrived in 1756 and included Johann Heinrich Birkenstock from Felsönána in the Tolna as well as Kaspar Weiss from Hant in Germany who had arrived in Hungary in 1751.  There was also a Johann Petermann and a miller from Bikal.  It was only in 1777 that the Petrovszky landlord brought in large numbers of German Lutherans to Bikal.  These new settlers included:  Heinrich Imel from Mekényes, Johann Loch from Hant in Germany, Philip Pfuscher or Fischer from Gyönk, Andreas Haag from Varsád, but by far the greatest number came from various places in the Tolna:  Felsönána, Kistormás, Kalaznó and Györköny.  A few families already in Baranya County also moved in.  Close ties were always maintained with the villages in the Tolna for decades.  More and more Lutherans continued to stream in as well as in Kaposszekcsö, Csikostöttös, Tékes, Nagy Ág, Gerényes and Tarrós.


  While Birkenstock lived in Högyesz on the Mercy estates he become acquainted with the steward of the Esterhazys in charge of the Dombovár Domain.  His friend Nagy invited him to come and move to Kozár.  He in turn persuaded his friend to approach the Esterhazys to expand the development of the Domain by inviting German Lutheran settlers to his village holdings so that their thrift and industriousness might rub off on his Serbian tenants.  Birkenstock became an often-invited guest at the Esterhazy palace.  His personal status and influence grew as did his estate and wealth.  He became an agent to recruit settlers and was the village Richter and was the head of the Kirchen Rat (church council).  He was a convinced and passionate Lutheran and was anxious to establish Lutheranism in the village.  His first objective was to secure a Lutheran schoolmaster.  To get the approval of the Roman Catholic priests in neighbouring Bikal he offered 12 Groschen for each Lutheran in the village annually.  Unfortunately it did not work.  The Lutherans in Kozár were placed under the spiritual jurisdiction of the priest in Bikal even though they secretly had a teacher.  He was soon forced to give up his post and was replaced by a Roman Catholic even though in 1775 there were only 100 Roman Catholics living among the 645 Lutherans.  Public worship was also forbidden for the Lutherans.  On two occasions Birkenstock went to Vienna to attempt to have some concessions to permit some rights for the Lutherans and even offered money that was gladly accepted, 4,000 Gulden in all for which he only received promises that were never met.


  It was only after the Toleration Edict of Joseph II in 1781 that conditions did improve for the Lutherans and in 1783 it was finally possible to implement it in Kozár.   Those in opposition did everything they could to impede and nullify it.  On September 20, 1783 a patent authoring religious freedom in Kozár was finally enacted.  The cornerstone of the church was laid on September 21st and the first pastor of the congregation was called:  Michael Murmann and the building of a church without a tower proceeded.

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