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Hungary Helps Christians Persecuted for their Faith around the World

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.07.09.
Destroyed church in Tell Nasri, Syria

“Over 300 million Christians are suffering persecution or discrimination around the world today,” said the State Secretary responsible for programs to help persecuted Christians in an interview with the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the world’s largest Catholic television network.

The American EWTN spoke to Tristan Azbej, who is also responsible for the Hungary Helps Program, in the wake of the latest report from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in May, which found that religious persecution has continued to rise and called on governments around the world to make efforts to ensure religious freedom in their countries. The report also pointed out that there are currently serious violations of religious freedom in 17 countries.

In the interview, Tristan Azbej justified the creation of the Hungarian State Secretariat for Persecuted Christians in 2016 by saying that

the Hungarian government, with its Christian Democratic values, felt it was a self-evident moral duty to take up the cause of persecuted Christians from the time it first learned of the atrocities they were suffering.

He added that, in his opinion, not only countries with Christian faith but also countries with other religious roots should have a moral obligation to help the religious community that is currently suffering the greatest persecution in the world.

Commenting on the events of the last few years, he said: “Although the persecution of Christians is changing geographically and in its forms, and there is no need for life-saving interventions at the moment as there was in the past to save the Yazidi minority in Iraq, unfortunately the persecution has continued to grow. Despite the collapse of the Islamic State caliphate, the number of Christians in the Middle East has been decimated, with Iraq, for example, now having only around 200,000 Christians, down from 1.5 million, a drop of 80 percent.”

By supporting the social, educational and health institutions of the remaining churches, the Hungarian government is not only saving Christianity in the wider Holy Land, but also supporting non-Christians, such as Muslims,

because the institutions of Christian churches also alleviate the suffering of other peoples living alongside Christians, he added.

Speaking of other parts of the world, he highlighted the sub-Saharan region, and within it northern Nigeria, as a negative example. There, he said, “the extremist Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram is still carrying out operations reminiscent of those in Iraq and Syria in 2014, which almost amount to genocide.” This is evidenced by a report from last year that revealed 5,000 proven Christian murders, a figure that is probably still only the tip of the iceberg.

The State Secretary also noted that in West Africa, the Islamic State and Nigerian jihadists belonging to the Fulani ethnic group are also active, with Fulani, for instance, killing around 300 Christians in Nigeria over two days last Christmas.

Tristan Azbej said that

the Hungarian government has already provided actual assistance to more than 2 million people in need worldwide in the last six years through its Hungary Helps Program for Christians around the world,

stressing that this figure includes not only Catholics but also people of other Christian denominations, as these are ecumenical programs.

Speaking about his visit to the Italian capital and Vatican City, he said that he was meeting again with the Italian government and the Holy See because he wanted to further strengthen the already effective cooperation and bilateral relations with both sides.

UN Official Asks Hungary to Share its Experience of Helping Persecuted Christians
UN Official Asks Hungary to Share its Experience of Helping Persecuted Christians

The State Secretary, responsible for programs to help persecuted Christians, has attended several meetings in the U.S.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Azbej Tristan

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