Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán assured retired Syrian Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart that his government will do everything it can to provide help after the earthquake in Syria and Turkey.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sent a message to the retired Syrian Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo after having received news reports regarding the fact that during last week’s earthquake, the building of the archbishop’s residence collapsed, a priest was killed, and retired Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart himself was transported to the hospital with severe injuries. Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister’s press chief, informed the Hungarian news agency MTI about the situation.
Orbán wrote to the church leader that he was deeply concerned after hearing about the tragic events, and was much relieved to find out from subsequent news reports that the archbishop was no longer in life-threatening condition. The prime minister recalled Jean-Clément Jeanbart’s visit to Budapest in 2017, of which he wrote he has fond memories.
Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart, Viktor Orbán, and Hungary’s then Minister of Human Capacities, Zoltán Balog, in Budapest in 2017. (Photo: Kormány.hu/Botár Gergely)
He reassured the Syrian Melkite church leader that Hungary stands with their community, especially during the present severe trials.
The Hungarian government will do everything it can to provide help to survive and to start again. We remember the victims with respect, and are praying for those who have lost loved ones and their homes,”
The Hungarian government has been helping Christian communities in danger, including in the Middle East, through the State Secretariat for Persecuted Christians and the Hungary Helps program. One of the program’s best practices is working with local churches to ensure that all aid is directly used. The government also stands up for persecuted Christians in international fora. Hungary is therefore highly respected among Christian churches in the Middle East. Last November, Viktor Orbán received the Holy Cross Medal of Gratitude from Armenian Catholic Patriarch Raphael Bedros XXI, who said that they greatly appreciate Orbán’s “unconditional commitment to Christians, to protecting their lives and preserving their moral and social values.”
Featured photo via Facebook/Orbán Viktor