Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó praised the Trump administration on Tuesday for raising the issue of persecuted Christians to the international political agenda.
Szijjártó said on Facebook during an online meeting of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance that had US President Donald Trump not put this issue on the agenda, then the countries committed to protecting Christian communities could not have been as successful as they had proven to be.
He highlighted the role of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and expressed hope that cooperation between Hungary and the US in protecting Christian and other religious communities would continue.
Szijjártó said the world was facing great challenges including the novel coronavirus pandemic, terrorism and migration. He added that the latter two were closely linked because terrorist organisations had been forcing peaceful people to leave their home and uncontrolled migration flows had made it easier for terrorists to freely move around the world.
“We in the European Union have sad experiences when it comes to the massive migratory flows” and the enormous risks they involve, he said, citing recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria. Szijjártó said that unfortunately Europe had to face anti-Christian ideologies and attacks becoming increasingly accepted by the “liberal mainstream”.
Hungary’s government has helped more than 100,000 persecuted Christians in 27 countries to stay in their place of birth in the Middle East, Africa and Asia through a scheme dubbed Hungary Helps, he said. The government has allocated 44 million dollars toward providing accommodation, education and health infrastructure development in these countries, he added.
Szijjártó said Hungary’s help could be all the more effective because the money was being sent directly to the communities, without the use of international aid organisations as intermediaries.
He welcomed cooperation with Estonia, Poland and Greece and said that coordination in offering humanitarian aid could be helped by an adviser group with members of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance sharing information with each other.
In the featured photo illustration (from left to right): Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and US President Donald Trump in the White House last year. Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI