President Katalin Novák said that although fragmented in various communities, the Hungarian nation is “together in spirit” to the present day.
Speaking at the consecration of the new Hungarian Reformed church in Marsden, Australia, on Sunday, President Novák acknowledged members of the local Hungarian community for fostering and enriching their Hungarian identity and Hungarian language, and for passing on that identity to their children in their church, communities and families. The Hungarian community has held together to show, in Australia, too, that there is not only a Hungarian present but a Hungarian future, she said. While churches are being repurposed or demolished in Western Europe, some 3,200 churches have been renovated and 200 built-in areas in which Hungarians live, she added. President Novák said Hungarians were bound together by their Hungarian identity, the Hungarian language and their shared Christian faith. Bishop Zoltán Balog of the Reformed Church in Hungary, who delivered the sermon at the service on Sunday, said the new church was “built with the sacrifice of local Hungarians”, adding that they had financed 80% of the investment cost. President Novák also participated in the inauguration of the renovated Hungarian House in Marsden.
On another note, in an interview published in The Australian, Australia’s only nationally distributed daily, the president said Hungary stands by freedom, family and Christian tradition. President Novák rejected any suggestion that Hungary was anti-Semitic, pointing to the people from various political parties and other groups who came together in solidarity at the Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest to support Israel after it was attacked by Hamas. Hungary has a “zero-tolerance” policy for anti-Semitism, she said. Addressing the Western media’s depiction of Hungary and Hungarians as anti-democratic, Novák put down such misunderstandings to the fact that most journalists don’t speak Hungarian and that Hungary’s position doesn’t always fit the mainstream, liberal narrative. Novák said in the interview that she was defined by being a mother, a wife, a Hungarian and a Christian, adding that she wanted to serve as an example of a conservative woman leader. She stressed the importance of addressing the demographic crisis. She said her task as a conservative head of state was to do everything possible to make it easier for families who wanted children to have them. That means allowing women to choose both motherhood and a career, she added. Novák acknowledged Australia for taking in Hungarian refugees decades earlier and giving them a “second home”.