Middle Eastern Christian church leaders welcome the Hungarian government’s policy of supporting and aiding persecuted Christian communities in their region, the deputy state secretary for aiding persecuted Christians said on Friday.
Speaking to MTI after a three-day international conference on the persecution of Christians, Tristan Azbej said the primary aim of the conference was for the leaders of persecuted Christian communities to be able to talk about the situations of their communities, address the conference about the dangers they face and ways they can be helped.
Speakers at the conference also made it clear that Christian communities in the Middle East have an “overwhelming need” for help from the international community in enabling them to return to their homelands, Azbej said.
Azbej said that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s message that those facing persecution should be provided help in their homelands rather than “bringing trouble over to Europe” had resonated with the church leaders in attendance.
He said the government regretted that government officials of other countries did not attend the conference, adding that their absence was “telling”.
Azbej said the reason why the Hungarian government had set up a deputy state secretariat for aiding persecuted Christians last year was to call the attention of as many countries and international organisations as possible to the situation of Middle Eastern Christians and entice them to follow Hungary’s example in helping those communities.
He added, however, that the Hungarian government and foreign church organisations believed that the West’s silence on the issue of the persecution of Christians was deliberate.
Azbej said the issue was “taboo” in the West because it “doesn’t fit the Western liberal narrative that paints Christianity as an aggressive, discriminative religion and focuses on supporting minority groups that face a far smaller degree of discrimination than Christians whose very existence is under threat”.