Hungarian PM: Persecuted Christians will help us save Europe
BUDAPEST, Hungary, November 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Prime Minister of Hungary believes that the Christians who are being protected from persecution today may save Europe tomorrow.
Victor Orbán, 56, gave a speech today in Budapest at the second International Conference on Christian Persecution.
According to Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register, Orbán stated: “I’m convinced that in order to save Europe, those who could provide us with the biggest help are those whom we’re helping right now. We’re sowing a seed, giving the persecuted what they need and getting back from them the Christian faith, love, and persistence.”
The Hungarian Prime Minister also explained that his country’s Christian identity obliges it to help other Christian communities.
“Hungarians believe Christian values lead to peace and happiness, and this is why our Constitution states that protection of Christianity is an obligation for the Hungarian state,” he said.
“It obligates us to protect Christian communities throughout the world suffering persecution.”
Orbán contrasted the large number of Christians among those who suffer for their faith with the indifference of most of Europe.
“Four out of five people persecuted for their faith are Christians and some 245 million Christians around the globe suffer extreme persecution,” he said.
“And yet Europe remains silent again and again!” he continued.
“European politicians seem paralyzed and unable to do anything, insisting that it is all a matter of generic ‘human rights.’”
The Hungarian Prime Minister argued that Christian persecution is not only an attack on people but on an entire culture, “including here in Europe.” This persecution is sometimes violent but sometimes more subtle, including “population exchange through mass migration, stigmatization, mockery, and the muzzle of political correctness.”
Orbán said also that Western Europe’s indiscriminate acceptance of mass migration is a “time bomb” for the future.
“Western Europe has already provided dozens of militants to the Islamic State, and uncontrolled immigration has produced a radical change in the demographics of the population,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the only solution is for Europe to discover its Christian roots and reaffirm its Christian identity.
President Donald Trump of the United States sent a letter to the Conference saying that he is “gratified” that Hungary shares his country’s dedication to religious liberty. The cordial message was read aloud by his domestic policy advisor Joe Grogan.
“The United States has always vehemently defended the unalienable right to live and worship freely according to one’s conscience and beliefs,” Trump wrote.
“I am gratified that Hungary’s State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and the Hungary Helps Program share America’s conviction in defending and advancing religious liberty, and I thank them for convening this gathering,” he continued.
“This conference is an important reminder that we all have a responsibility to safeguard this sacred fundamental right.”
The “Hungary Helps” program was set up by Orbán’s government in 2017 to aid Christian communities that are suffering persecution. The Hungarian schemes rely on relationships between the Hungarian government and Christian communities themselves, bypassing such standard middlemen as the UN and large multinational NGOs. By April this year, the project had given the equivalent of $26,200,752 to Christians living and working in their home countries, which include five Middle Eastern and two sub-Saharan nations.
According to Thomas D. Williams of Breitbart, the Hungarian Prime Minister stressed the important role Christian Hungary has to play in the world.
“Hungarians make up only 0.02 percent of the world’s population, so how much difference can it make? Is it worth it?” Orbán asked.
He answered his own question by reflecting on the 12 apostles who, though small in number, changed the world with the Good News.
“Standing up for our persecuted brothers and sisters engenders courage in ourselves and others,” Orbán continued.
“When we raised Aid to Persecuted Christians to the level of a government ministry, who would have known how it would grow and influence others?”
Prime Minister Orbán may have been referring to the United States’ decision to look to Hungary for inspiration in channelling aid to those who need it most. According to Devex, a news website “for the global development community,” the Hungarian projects served as a model for USAID’s new “Genocide and Persecution Response” initiative, which was announced in 2018.
According to Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, one problem with helping Christians is anti-Christian feeling in international bodies.
“The Hungarian government rejects the approach that often appears on the part of the international community, according to which Christian phobia and any form of anti-Christian sentiment is acceptable,” Szijjártó told the Conference today.
“Amid the current international political framework, it requires courage to openly talk about the fate of Christians, and those who accepted the invitation to attend this conference have also demonstrated extreme courage,” he continued.
The Minister stated that during the past year 2,625 Christians have been wrongfully arrested and that over 1,200 Christian churches across the world have been attacked.
Szijjártó also criticized the UN Global Compact for Migration, saying that every country has the right not to be a source, transitional country, or object of migration.
“Every country has the right to decide whether it wants to be one or neither of these, just as everyone also has the right to live in the land of their birth and to live a secure life there in their own homeland,” he declared.
“This is the foundation on which the Hungarian government is building its policy when it supports Christian communities [abroad].”
The International Conference on Christian Persecution began today and will end on November 28.