The construction of a school in Mosul, in the independent Kurdish region of Iraq, is underway thanks to the Hungarian government and the Hungary Helps scheme.
Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Mosul, told national TV channel M1 that the building of the new school is thanks to the Hungarian state.
“This is a very important step, because if we want to change a society, we must begin with the schools,” he said, adding that religious leaders have a big responsibility in keeping the Christian population of Iraq in its birthplace.
The archbishop said that assisting Christians to remain also sends a strong message to other Christian communities that have lost a sizeable part of their population in the wars. He pointed out that while Iraq had a Christian population of 1.6 million in 2003, when the US war against Saddam Hussein’s regime began, now it only numbers 300,000. Similarly, half of the Christian population has left Syria since the beginning of the conflicts there.
The archbishop also said that Hungary is the only country in the world that supports regional churches directly – as opposed to support via charity organizations - meaning that the full amount of the support reaches those it was destined for.
Photo credit: UNICEF