The government’s Hungary Helps programme has assisted 500,000 people worldwide during the past 5 years, Tristan Azbej, state secretary in charge of the scheme to help persecuted Christian communities, told pro-government public television M1 on Wednesday.
The programme not only helped persecuted people stay in their homeland, but “sometimes it was successful in reversing migration”, the state secretary said. He noted that some 1,000 families returned to Syria with Hungarian assistance. He also added that Syria’s Christian community, which used to number 2.3 million people before the civil war, has now shrunken to less than one million.
Azbej said that although there was no more fighting over the larger part of Syria, residents suffered from an economic collapse and deep poverty. Many have left the country but local Christians cling to their homeland, which is among the oldest sites of Christianity.
featured image via Zoltán Máthé/MTI