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

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.02.05.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief is asking Hungary to share its experience of its policy on persecuted Christians with the world, Tristan Azbej, State Secretary responsible for programs to help persecuted Christians, said at the end of his visit to Washington.

The State Secretary, who is also responsible for the implementation of the Hungary Helps aid program, said that at the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington he had the opportunity to meet with UN Special Rapporteur Nazila Ghanea, whose office plays an important role in raising awareness among member states about the importance of religious freedom.

As he noted,

the UN envoy specifically asked Hungary to share its unique experience on how humanitarian aid can help persecuted Christians and other religious groups to remain and stay in their place.

Tristan Azbej speaking at the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington. Photo: Facebook/Azbej Tristan

Tristan Azbej stressed that this year’s Religious Freedom Summit was a step forward in that more countries were represented than ever before. Not only those affected by religious persecution, but also representatives of governments and other types of organizations attended. He called it encouraging that, whereas in the past such meetings had resulted in mere declarations, now there was hope for comprehensive and tangible action. He added that the Hungarian delegation at the summit sought to contribute to the dialogue by setting an example of Hungary’s own, presenting the work of the State Secretariat for the for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, and the Hungary Helps Program.


The Hungary Helps Program is a specific national model that strengthens international humanitarian engagement in light of the fact that the Hungarian government’s migration and humanitarian policies go hand in hand. In 2016, Hungary became the first country to launch such an initiative. Through the program, Hungary is helping people in need not to have to leave their home country, and if possible, to return to it. Through humanitarian aid provided under the Hungary Helps Program, the government has so far helped half a million people to stay in or return to their home country. The program also aims to help persecuted Christians around the world, especially in the Middle East.

The State Secretary attended several political meetings in the U.S. capital, including talks with U.S. political figures, such as members of Congress and senators in the previous days. He added that during his meetings he had seen appreciation from his interlocutors for Hungary’s efforts to protect Christians, for the steps taken to combat antisemitism, and for Hungary’s stance and actions in the field of family, marriage and life protection.

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Among his political meetings, Tristan Azbej highlighted his meeting with Republican Senator J.D. Vance, who has previously expressed his support for Hungary on a number of issues and in this meeting expressed his appreciation for Hungary’s actions in protecting persecuted Christians and his agreement with Hungary’s pro-peace stance in the war in Ukraine.

The International Religious Freedom Summit was held in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the opening event at the Embassy of Hungary.

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Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Azbej Tristan

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