Hungary plans to become a centre for efforts to combat Christian persecution2017. február 16., csütörtök
“Hungary wants to become a centre for organisations working to combat the persecution of Christians”, the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Parliamentary State Secretary declared at an international conference entitled: “New Opportunities for Solidarity in the Interests of Discriminated Christian Communities”.
According to Bence Rétvári, the level of Christian persecution in the world today is greater than in the time of Nero; four out of every five religiously persecuted people are Christian.
For this reason, Middle Eastern religious leaders are asking the representatives of the Hungarian Government and western democracies to create a vision of the future and provide humanitarian assistance to Christians in Iraq and Syria, amongst others, instead of trying to help by accepting them as immigrants”, Mr. Rétvári said at the meeting held with the participation of twelve religious organisations from seven countries.
The State Secretary pointed out that Hungary’s Parliament had adopted a joint declaration with the support of every single parliamentary party: It condemns the persecution of Christians and the activities of the Islamic State, and calls on the International Criminal Court to initiate proceedings with relation to the crime of genocide.
In addition, Hungary plans to use a European travelling exhibition to draw attention to the threat of Christian persecution, as well as recognising the need to provide humanitarian aid on site.
In closing, Mr. Rétvári urged the participants of the conference to adopt a plan of action.
The Ministry of Human Capacities’ Deputy State Secretary responsible for assisting persecuted Christians, Tamás Török, spoke about the fact that the eradication of two-thousand-year-old Christian cultures is going on in the Middle East, and the number of religiously motivated acts of terrorism in Europe is also increasing.
The establishment of the State Secretariat against the persecution of Christians was justified, amongst others, by the fact that it creates coordination within the Government in the interests of preventing the persecution of Christians, in addition to which it has the power to initiate new legislation. Furthermore, the department cooperates with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and also with churches and non-governmental organisations, in addition to which it are also in contact with the United Nations, Hungarians courts and the European Parliament, he listed.
Mr. Török told those present that the State Secretariat has developed a scholarship programme for the representatives of persecuted Christians and is holding a series of lectures on persecuted Christian churches at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University.
MEP György Hölvényi stressed that the main duty of a Christian democrat politician in the European Parliament is to draw attention to the sufferings of Christians in an unreligious Europe, and to call on their European partners to take joint action.
“Europe is not unified when it comes to combatting the persecution of Christian”, he continued, “and this is why the Hungarian Government had to decide on the establishment of a separate State Secretariat for preventing the persecution of Christians”. “Because someone has to begin this process”, he said, adding: “All the more, because for instance if hundreds of thousands of people do not return to Iraq within the upcoming year, it will mean the end of Christianity in the country”. According to Mr. Hölvényi, anti-Christian sentiment is not only a danger to Christianity itself, but is also having a destructive effect on Islam.
During the second part of the meeting, representatives of foreign Christian organisations reported behind closed doors on their operations and on the atrocities suffered by their communities.
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