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Jul 27, 2018

FM: Hungary will continue its policy of supporting Christian communities in the Middle East

In the past two years they have spent 4.5 billion HUF on supporting Christian communities in the Middle East so that they do not have to leave their homes, the foreign minister revealed

The Hungarian government will continue its policy of supporting Christian communities in the Middle East.

In the past two years they have spent 4.5 billion HUF on supporting Christian communities in the Middle East so that they do not have to leave their homes, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, revealed.

The minister pointed out that in the settlement of Tesqopa in Iraq they have rebuilt the homes of 991 Christian families who were previously driven away. With projects like this they seek to counter “the shocking process that in the past 15 years the size of the Christian community in Iraq has decreased to one fifth of what it was,” he added.

He also highlighted that Hungary is taking part in the refurbishment of 31 Christian churches in Lebanon, sponsors and supports the schools, hospitals and churches of Christian communities, and is refurbishing an orphanage together with Poland.

During an official visit to Washington, the minister said that the US Department of State has organized a conference on the protection of religious communities and with a view to advancing religious freedom globally.

According to Vice President Mike Pence’s speech, this conference will be organized every year as advancing religious freedom is one of the priorities of the Trump administration. Eighty countries were represented at the conference which was attended by twenty ministers, he added.

The minister stressed that “as Hungary is a Christian country which is also proud of its Christianity," at the event he spoke about the importance of protecting Christian communities.

“The context emerging in international public discourse from time to time that anti-Christianity is the last acceptable form of discrimination is unacceptable, and we reject this in the strongest possible terms,” he said.

Minister Szijjártó highlighted that “we stand up for the notion that Christians are entitled to religious freedom and to a safe life the same as any other religious community in the world."

According to MTI, he took the view that we must see at the time that due to terrorist organizations – primarily the terrorist organization Islamic State – “Christian communities are exposed to unparalleled persecution and suffering.”

He pointed out that in the past few years hundreds of thousands of Christian families have been forced to leave their homes where they had settled before all other religious communities and had lived in peace and security for centuries. He said that this is why it is important to fully eliminate the terrorist organization Islamic State.