“We experience it in the world, and we also know that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world,” Miklós Soltész, State Secretary for Church and International Relations of the Prime Minister’s Office said on Saturday.
He attended a ceremony marking the blessing of a cross in the center of Komlóska, a village in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County (northeastern Hungary). Miklós Soltész stressed that believers cannot understand why Christianity is under attack, since it is the leaders of the church and they themselves who pass on peace and love.
He called it ‘natural’ that more than thirty years after communism, people are free to practice their Christian faith and that churches are present in schools, social homes, and hospitals. Soltész added that it was also natural that churches were being renovated and rebuilt across the Carpathian Basin. In this context, he thanked the nationalities of Hungary, including the local Ruthenian community, for their participation in the work that has enabled more than 400 crosses to be renovated or built in different parts of Hungary. In Komlóska, the cross was erected by the Greek Catholic Ruthenian community.
According to the state secretary, the crosses act as a sign to convey peace and tranquility to people, even if Christians are persecuted and attacked all over the world.
Hungary took a pioneering role in 2016, when it set up the Deputy State Secretariat for Persecuted Christians – which later became a State Secretariat – and launched the Hungary Helps program. Today, both areas come under the same State Secretariat, headed by Tristan Azbej. The idea behind the Hungarian initiative is not to lure refugees to Europe, but to create decent living conditions for them in their own countries, or at least in their own regions. The other aspect is the Hungarian government’s conviction that the West has a responsibility to help Christians who are facing persecution.
Featured photo via MTI/Balázs Attila