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Oct 29, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

FM Szijjártó: 11 Christians are murdered every day for practicing their faith

At a conference with Christian religious leaders from the Middle East, the foreign minister spoke about Hungary's responsibility in protecting persecuted Christian communities around the world and setting an example for others to follow.

"A consensus has been formed in international political discourse that the persecution of Christians is the last, acceptable form of discrimination,” Hungary’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said, calling it an “outrageous hypocrisy” that the international community refuses to talk about Christian persecution.

Hungary played host today to a number of Christian religious leaders from the Middle East. In his opening address to the gathering, Minister Szijjártó spoke up for the protection of persecuted Christians around the world, adding that the topic will feature prominently in tomorrow’s meeting between PM Orbán and President Putin.

The foreign minister noted that, in fact, Christianity is the world’s most persecuted religion. Every day, an average of 11 Christians are murdered simply for practicing their religion. This is why Hungary has donated more than USD 40 million, he said, under the Hungary Helps aid program to rebuild houses and churches and renovate schools. All this to make it possible for local Christian communities to remain in their homeland.

“Hungary has already helped some 50 thousand people. We could help many more if the international community followed our example,” FM Szijjártó said, reinforcing Hungary’s long-standing policy of taking help where it’s needed, instead of bringing problems to the continent of Europe.

The region, according to the FM, carries paramount importance for Europe’s security. “Europe’s security begins with the security and stability of the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.

On mass migration, the foreign minister said that the international community must switch focus – instead of facilitating migration, it should help people return to their homes safely. “We should help them so that everyone can live in peace and safety in their homeland,” Szijjártó said.

The Middle Eastern religious leaders, who hail mainly from Iraq and Syria, are set to meet Prime Minister Orbán and President Putin tomorrow, following the bilateral meeting.