Budapest, HUNGARY — Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told a packed hall in the capital Hungary is proud of its Christian heritage and will do all in its power to defend its Christian identity.
“We are proud that our king Saint Stephen built the Hungarian State on solid ground and made our country a part of Christian Europe one thousand years ago,” Mr. Orbán said, citing Hungary’s constitution. “We recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood.”
The prime minister said “Saint Stephen, our first Christian king, was an enlightened monarch, a visionary who wrote a guide for his son Emeric called ‘Admonitions’ that we Hungarians read as a personal message to each of us, both as a nation and as individuals, and it has been a source of our strength and flourishing.”
Along with urging him to preserve the Christian faith, the Admonitions also contained precious counsel for good citizenship and good government, Mr. Orbán noted.
“Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said: I desire mercy and not sacrifice,” Mr. Orbán recited. “Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful, but also with the weak.”
“Finally, be strong lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down. Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next,” he quoted.
In his speech, broken up periodically by enthusiastic applause, the leaderr echoed words written by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000 to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of Hungary as a Christian nation.
“When St Stephen wrote his Admonitions for his son Emeric, was he speaking only to him?” the Polish pope asked. “Did he not write his Admonitions for all future generations of Hungarians, for all the heirs of his crown?”
“Your holy king, dear brothers and sisters of the Hungarian nation, left you as an inheritance not only the royal crown,” he said. “He left you the spiritual testament, a heritage of fundamental and indestructible values: the true house built upon the rock.”
In Tuesday’s address, Mr. Orbán said that despite its small size, Hungary has an important mission to play in the world.
“Hungarians make up only 0.02 percent of the world’s population, so how much difference can it make? Is it worth it?” Mr. Orbán asked.
He then proceeded to invoke the historical example of the 12 apostles, who changed the world by their Christian witness to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
“Standing up for our persecuted brothers and sisters engenders courage in ourselves and others,” the prime minister continued. “When we raised Aid to Persecuted Christians to the level of a government ministry, who would have known how it would grow and influence others?”
Mr. Orbán also shared some sobering facts about the extent of the real-world drama of Christian persecution.
“Four out of 5 people persecuted for their faith are Christians and some 245 million Christians around the globe suffer extreme persecution,” Orbán noted, along with scores of vandalized churches and numerous deaths.
“And yet Europe remains silent again and again!” he said. “European politicians seem paralyzed and unable to do anything, insisting that it is all a matter of generic ‘human rights.’”
“But Christian persecution is not just a humanitarian issue,” Orbán insisted. “It is not just violence against individual persons or groups but an organized attack on an entire culture, including here in Europe.”
This attack takes many forms, some overt and some more subtle, he said, which includes “population exchange through mass migration, stigmatization, mockery, and the muzzle of political correctness.”
The prime minister also criticized Western Europe’s indiscriminate acceptance of mass migration as a time bomb for the future.
“Western Europe has already provided dozens of militants to the Islamic State,” he noted, “and uncontrolled immigration has produced a radical change in the demographics of the population.”
The only solution, he suggested, is for Europe to rediscover its Christian roots, its Christian identity.