Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, together with Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, held talks with Youssef Absi, the patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, in the form of a luncheon in the Carmelite monastery in Budapest, the PM’s press chief said on Tuesday.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is headquartered in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Dormition in Damascus.
Given the absence of direct diplomatic links between Hungary and Syria, the Hungarian government aims to assist the country’s Christian communities via its Hungary Helps humanitarian programme,
Bertalan Havasi cited the Hungarian leaders as saying.
Orbán said his government has reviewed the aid proposals sent by the local church leaders and has begun delivering the necessary supplies to the communities in need. Between autumn 2016 and January 2019, Hungary set aside a total of 7.63 billion forints (EUR 24m) to help keep prosecuted Christian communities in their homelands.
The government’s policy remains unchanged: help should be provided at the point where it is needed rather than “bringing trouble over to Europe”, Havasi said.
Patriarch of Melkite Greek Catholic Church expresses appreciation for Hungary’s solidarity
The help and solidarity received from Hungarians means a great deal to Christians in the Middle East, Youssef Absi, the patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, said today.
“The Hungarian people live according to Christian values, and Hungary is open to helping all persecuted nations,” the patriarch, invited for a visit to Hungary by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, told public news channel M1.
He said the purpose of his visit was “to work together with the Hungarian government” and discuss how the government can work together with Christians in the Middle East.
He added that his community had suffered greatly, and many ruined schools and hospitals needed to be rebuilt.
ORBÁN MEETS LEADERS OF SYRIA’S LARGEST PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONS
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, on October 2018, held talks with leaders of Syria’s largest protestant congregations Joseph Kassab, general secretary of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, and Haroutune George Selimian, President of the Armenian Evangelical Community of Syria. Read more HERE.