Hungary become the first European Union member state to join the new International Religious Freedom Alliance launched by U.S. President Donald Trump, announced Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Wednesday.
“We are proud that Hungary became the first European country to join the new international alliance set up by the United States,” he said. The organization — a “network of like-minded countries fully committed to advancing freedom of religion or belief around the world” — held its inaugural meeting Wednesday in Washington, DC.
While left-wing economist Jeffrey Sachs was berating the Trump administration for its “unilateralism” in the Vatican at the same time, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was chairing the Washington inaugural event with representatives of the 26 countries that have joined the new international alliance.
Hungary shares the conviction of the new alliance that “more must be done to protect members of religious minority groups and combat discrimination and persecution based on religion” and does not accept that international organizations “turn a blind eye” to the persecution of Christian communities around the world, Szijjártó said.
“Hungary has been a Christian state since its foundation more than a thousand years ago and as such carries a responsibility for persecuted Christian communities around the world,” Szijjártó said, while noting that Hungary has provided 50 million dollars of aid to communities in Africa and the Middle East.
Last fall, Hungary hosted its second international conference on aid to persecuted Christians, emphasizing the need to assist the faithful where they are rather than encouraging them to abandon their homelands.
At that conference, Szijjártó noted that “Christianophobia is the last acceptable form of discrimination in the world.”
“When I go to my monthly meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union,” Szijjártó said, they tell me not to mention “Christian communities” because it is “discriminatory.”
“On the other hand, the EU presses for its ‘Global Compact for Migration’ as if mass migration were a good to be encouraged,” Szijjártó said.
“But what about the right to national identity, to national security, to culture — fundamental rights never addressed by the Compact,” Szijjártó concluded, eliciting a spontaneous round of applause.
Last year, Szijjártó told Breitbart News that Hungary disagrees with the European Union policy of getting rid of national identity and Christian culture.
“Our position is no, the European Union can only be strong, and Europe as such can only be strong again, if the member-states are themselves strong, and in order to be strong you need to stick to heritage and you need to be proud of your roots,” he said.
Along with the United States, 26 nations have joined the international alliance: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Gambia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Togo, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.