The Hungarian government has no qualms about tailoring its foreign financial assistance to favor persecuted Christian communities around the world, a top official from the European nation told Breitbart News this week, exclaiming, “We are a Christian country.”
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart’s Amanda House, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, declared that Hungary is focusing on primarily helping persecuted Christians over other groups, noting:
We are a Christian country and we have to emphasize that because currently, under a mainstream liberal media, if you say so you must be very brave. That’s why, very proudly, I want to say again that we are a Christian country and that’s why we have a special responsibility to protect our Christians brothers and sisters all around the world … If we don’t protect them, who will protect them? If you don’t speak in favor of them, who will speak in favor of them?
For us, protecting Christian communities is of utmost importance.
Szijjártó expressed disdain towards the Christian-majority European Union’s reluctance to focus its foreign assistance to the Middle East on primarily helping their fellow Christian adherents.
I’m pretty much frustrated with the approach in Europe whenever we come together – foreign ministers – and we negotiate about the situation in the Middle East and I raise the issue of protecting Christian communities, the others always want to speak about protecting religious minorities, but you know my thoughts [are with] the Christian communities and if it is on my [mind], I’ll say it. And this shows very well that the hypocrisy is still there, unfortunately.
The Middle East is home to various ethno-religious minorities, including Christians, Yazidis, and Muslims belonging to ethnic minorities like the Kurds, among various others.
Last week, László Szabó, the Hungarian ambassador to the United States, revealed that his country has appointed an official charged with protecting Christianity around the globe, arguing that it is the only position of its kind within a European government.
“I feel sorry that he is the only state secretary in Europe who is trying to defend Christianity. Four out five people in the world who are harassed for their religion are Christians,” Szijjártó told Breitbart News. He acknowledged the creation of the office of Hungary’s State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, Azbej Tristan.
The minister told Breitbart News: “We have even established a separate department in our ministry of human capacities which has only one duty, one responsibility to deal with the [future] of the persecuted Christian communities all over the world.”
He stressed that Hungary is focused on strengthening Christians facing mistreatment in their own country so that they can remain in their homes.
We send them money … We give them financial assistance to be able to get stronger where they have been living. We build schools. We take part in covering medical costs of their hospitals. We rebuild their torn down houses. We give them scholarships.
So, we try to strengthen where they are. You know, they usually ask us [to not encourage] members of the Christian communities to leave their homes. They ask us to help them stay where they have been living for centuries, basically, or even more, and to be stronger there. That’s why we [would] rather help them to get stronger in the places where they have been originally living.
The Muslim-majority Middle East is home to the cradle of Christianity.
Christian persecution is concentrated in that region, according to Open Doors, an organization that tracks the mistreatment of Christians around the world.
In its latest annual watch list of the top 50 worst countries for persecution against Christians, Open Doors revealed that 215 million believers in Christ faced the most severe persecution in 2017, resulting in 3,066 deaths and 1,020 rapes mainly targeting women.
The full interview will be posted here after release.