Hungary Pays Lebanese Churches ‘To Prevent Illegal Migration’
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BEIRUT/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Hungary’s foreign minister on Thursday pledged $2 million to the renovation of 30 Christian churches in Lebanon to “save Christians” and prevent “illegal migration.”
Péter Szijjártó told reporters in Beirut, Lebanon, that the government wants “Lebanon to remain Lebanon, with a Christian community that can rely on Hungary’s help.”
He explained that “Christians in Lebanon asked us earlier to save their churches so that those churches could save Christian communities.”
So far, the Hungarian government has financed the renovation of 33 Christian churches in Lebanon using a budget of $1.8 million, the minister added.
The renovation of churches is part of Hungary’s policy of helping persecuted Christians in several countries, Worthy News learned.
Szijjártó said “the food crisis,” one of the global ramifications of the war in Ukraine, posed a “huge challenge” for countries facing similar difficulties as Lebanon.
“These difficulties could lead to even greater waves of migration from unstable regions. And we also know that those waves cause instability and are usually directed at Europe,” Szijjártó noted.
“Should that pressure increase, Europe will not be able to handle it,” the foreign minister warned after talks with his Lebanese counterpart.
Szijjártó urged the international community to support Lebanon, saying “around one-fifth of Lebanon’s population” of 5.3 million “was now made up of Syrian refugees.”
Among Syrians are also Christians fleeing hardships and war.
The Hungarian minister said international assistance was needed to help refugees return to their homeland.
Szijjártó saw that providing accommodation to that community was “a huge burden” on Lebanon. “Unless such help is provided, further masses of migrants could set off for Europe,” he stressed.
The European Union has criticized Hungary’s fiercely anti-migration government for not accepting many refugees, although it has accommodated some persecuted Christians, Worthy News established.
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