Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said data from human rights organizations show that 360 million Christians live in parts of the world where they are subjected to threats, discrimination or persecution, as against 245 million five years ago.
The foreign minister told a ministerial conference on the freedom of religion or belief in London that the Hungarian government considered support for Christian communities an important task which contributed to the freedom of religion. He cited the Hungary Helps program which had helped around half a million people return to or stay in their homelands and provided over 100 million dollars for building, revamping and operating schools, hospitals and churches. He said in his address that Christianity was currently facing two main challenges: aggressive secularisation and massive persecution. “Unfortunately, currently Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world,” he added. He said that Hungary had a thousand-year Christian heritage, which helped the country survive “the storms of history, occupation and all forms of dictatorship”. The fact that Hungary has been able to maintain its statehood has been due to a dedication to its Christian roots and heritage, he added. Over the past ten years, some three thousand churches have been built in central European areas with ethnic Hungarian residents, the number of church-run schools has doubled in Hungary and the share of students attending such schools has grown from 10 to 20 percent, he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter