Violence against Christians is on the spread, and after the Middle East it has also appeared in western African countries, Tristan Azbej, state secretary in charge of aid to persecuted Christian communities, said in Washington, DC, late on Wednesday.
Azbej spoke to MTI after the opening of a Hungarian exhibition on the subject, and said that the Hungarian government’s policy towards those communities is “proof that migration must be addressed at the root”.
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“The situation has somewhat stabilised in the Middle East… but a genocide-level persecution of Christians has started in northern Nigeria and Burkina Faso,” the state secretary said.
Azbej spoke highly of the achievements of the government’s Hungary Helps programme, and said that the scheme has helped rebuild schools, churches and residential areas in ten countries. He added that in the past two years the programme has helped some 70 Christians survive or return to their abandoned homes.
Through the programme, the government has “served both the world’s most persecuted and most neglected religious community and… the interests of Hungarians through preventing or mitigating the migration pressure on Europe”, the official said.
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Apart from showing the suffering of “the insulted and the injured”, the exhibition is aimed at presenting the real face of Hungarian people and their government in contrast with “slanderous remarks” by liberal politicians and organisations, Azbej said.
“We will show that we do not have a heart of stone but we consider migration a harmful tendency in all aspects. We share the position that problems should not be imported to Hungary but assistance should be provided where the problems are.”
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The exhibition is also aimed at encouraging US decision-makers to follow suit, the state secretary said, adding that the Hungarian initiative was openly received. He added that the first joint Hungary-US programmes have started, in northern Iraq.
Azbej criticised the EU’s western states for their “putting the discourse on the persecution of Christians in an ideological fight”. “In their narrative there is no room for the fact that Christians are persecuted, nor will they admit that Hungary’s policies are exemplary rather than restrictive in terms of human rights and solidarity.” Politicians of those countries are “trying to belittle the persecution of Christians and they would conceal Hungary’s efforts,” he insisted.
In the featured photo illustration: state secretary Tristan Azbej. Photo via Hungary Helps’ Facebook page