Forget James Dean. Slovakia’s religious rebel had a cause

Darina Bancíková, the first female pastor ordained in Slovakia, faced many barriers during her lifetime under the communist regime.

Darina BancíkováDarina Bancíková (Source: Swan family archive)

Named after the Slovak word for gift - dar - Darina Bancíková, the first female pastor ordained in the Evangelical Church in Slovakia, is said to have had a wonderful and loving relationship with her mother. But life was less than generous to the trailblazing pastor.

Born an illegitimate child in 1922, early in what later turned out to be a difficult century for Slovakia, Bancíková’s life was full of barriers, some created by the communist regime, others by male pastors who were unwilling to be ordained alongside her. Today, close to half of all Lutheran pastors in Slovakia are women. Bancíková is now recognised as the one who has paved the way for them.

“She fought against her feelings of inferiority but overcame them with vigor, boldness and ambition,” Mária Hroboňová, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lučenec, told The Slovak Spectator. “Outwardly, she didn't want to show that she was suffering.”

Fighting for legitimacy

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

News digest: Ministry comes up with a plan to ease measures

Coalition to discuss longer lockdown. Slovakia lags behind in administering booster shots. Nearly half of Slovaks perceive the tax and levy reform negatively.

Igor Matovic

PM’s calls for “respect” are ignored by his own colleagues

Finance minister proposes massive handout without consulting PM.

5 h
Car poduction in Kia Slovakai in Teplička Nad Váhom

Automotive industry faces the biggest transformation in its history

Slovakia remains the world’s biggest car manufacturer per 1000 inhabitants.

8 h
Skryť Close ad