By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
The comments were made by Hungary’s State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, and the Hungary Helps Program, Tristan Azbejat an international conference on protecting religious freedom. Azbej said Hungary has supported hundreds of thousands of persecuted Christians worldwide.
He spoke while briefing representatives of the Visegrád Group, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
The state secretary told the conference in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava that his six-year work through the Hungary Helps program expanded to persecuted Christians in more than 50 countries.
But he expressed concern about the “disinterest and denial” Hungary encountered earlier when seeking cooperation with other countries.
Azbej noted that while over 300 million people “are discriminated against because of their Christian faith” worldwide, “Western liberal politicians try to deny that fact.”
For example, he mentioned Hungary’s support for survivors after the recent killing of some 50 people at a Nigerian Catholic Church this year.
He said that while Hungary sent swift aid, “leading western politicians and European Union leaders said it shouldn’t be seen as religious persecution but as a consequence of climate change.”
He stressed that Hungary works directly with local churches and religious organizations and has helped more than 500,000 people globally.
Earlier in Budapest, the state secretary who recently visited the Vatican, praised Pope Francis for supporting Hungary’s program helping persecuted Christians, including those in Iraq. “I was able to greet the Holy Father briefly in Mosul during the papal visit to Iraq in March 2021. And while standing in front of Pope Francis in Mosul and starting to tell him my prepared speech about the Hungary Helps program, the Syriac Catholic bishop intervened and summarized it in one sentence. He said: ‘Holy Father, if it weren’t for some Catholic charity organizations and the Hungarian government who came to assist us in 2016, then there would be no Christian presence in Iraq’,” Azbej recalled.
He noted that the initiative is now gaining support among other governments within the Visegrád Group countries and said cooperation has also started with neighboring Slovenia.