Hungary aims to provide a refuge for persecuted Christians, Zoltán Balog, the minister of human resources, said at a Christian festival on Friday.
Addressing 72 Christian students from the Middle East who have received Hungarian state scholarships, Balog said in Budapest’s St. Stephen’s Basilica that the stipends were for people who had come from countries where Christians face suffering and danger on a daily basis.
“Today three out of four Christians in the world are persecuted, and the western world knows little about it,” he said.
“As far as possible, we want to strengthen the voice of the persecuted and to make known the atrocities against them,” the minister said. Hungary strives at international forums to bring attention to the situation of Christians in the Middle East, he added.
Since the establishment last year of the state secretariat for assisting pursued Christians, the government has provided support of 6 million euros to the Middle Eastern and African Christian communities, he noted.
Under the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship established in 2013, fully 6,700 foreign students study in Hungary and over half come from Muslim countries, Balog noted.
“Scholarships create opportunities for Hungary to make new friends and to make the world a better and more peaceful place,” he said.
The students attended the Latin Mass celebrated by Cardinal Péter Erdő, the head of the Hungarian Catholic Church.
Under many decades of Communism, Hungarian Catholics were isolated from the church and they need to form contacts with the Catholic faithful of other lands, Erdő told the congregation.
“It is important for the present generation to experience being part of a single Christian family while sharing our faith and our mission,” the cardinal said.
Featured image: MTI