Hungary has protected Christianity many times throughout its history, and is still proud to be Christian nowadays as well, and argues in favor of Christianity and Christian culture to be given the priority in Europe. Our Constitution starts with the word “God”. The introduction of the Constitution says that we acknowledge the role of Christianity in preserving the Hungarian nation.
We, Christians unfortunately do have some sad duties nowadays. First of all, to understand that Christianity is the most persecuted religion, all over the Earth. Four out of five men and women, who are persecuted for their belief, are Christians. If you look at the international discourse and if you look at the discussion going on in the European media or political elite, unfortunately you have to see that Christianophobia is being portrayed as if it was the last acceptable form of discrimination. Which is totally unacceptable. And if you look at the declarations and resolutions of international organizations, you will hardly find any reference to tortures and challenges, which the Christian communities have to face all over the world. Even in the European Union when I ask the Foreign Affairs Council to refer to Christian communities in the Middle East, for example, the most I can achieve is that the expression of “religious minorities” will be included in the text.
But I really do believe that if the Christians do not speak up in favor of the Christian communities, no one else will do so. And if you look at the facts, they say that two hundred forty five million Christians are being persecuted all over the world, which means that every ninth men and women who are Christians, are under persecution. In 4166 cases, Christians were killed last year, which means that there are eleven Christians being killed every day all over the world, and 1266 churches were either ruined or attacked during the last year. That’s why we urge all the international organizations to leave hypocrisy and political correctness behind and address this issue properly, or at least to be brave enough to speak about it openly, honestly and in a straightforward manner.
We, Hungarians are the first ones to establish a separate State Secretariat in the Government, which has only one duty: To look after and monitor the destiny and the situation of the Christian communities all over the world, and if there is a need, we help. So far, we have spent 36.5 MUSD on strengthening the Christian communities, where they live. This is because of our basic approach, that we do not want to have the Christian communities, the members of the Christian communities to leave their homes, but to have them to be able to stay and to be stronger there. Our principle is bringing help where it is needed, and not bringing problems where there are no problems yet at least. In this framework we have rebuilt houses of 1200 Christian families in Iraq to be able to return. We are building schools for the Christians in the Middle East with the Caldean Church and the Syrian Orthodox Church. We cover the medical costs of Christian hospitals, three of them in Syria, we are just now reconstructing 33 Christian churches in Lebanon and we carry out a comprehensive development and construction program on the Ninive Plains.
Unfortunately, we, Hungarians do have a firsthand experience of persecuting any kind of religion under the communist regime. Back then practicing Christian religion was only possible in secret, and we don’t want those times to return, to be repeated anywhere in the world. That’s why we cherish Ambassador Brownback and the leadership of the U.S. administration in this regard. I’m happy to announce here that the Second International Conference on Persecuted Christians, based upon the initiative of Prime Minister Orbán, will take place this year in November in Budapest. Thank you very much for your efforts. Thank you for your invitation.