Pope Francis has praised the Hungarian government’s scheme to help persecuted Christians around the world, according to a Hungarian government official.
During a general audience on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square, 20 scholars who study in Hungary under the government programme were presented to Pope Francis, Ministry of Human Resources state secretary in charge of aiding Christians, Tristan Azbej, said in a statement.
Azbej told the pope about the work of the Hungarian government in assisting the persecuted Christian communities, and Francis “praised our programme”.
The pope was “deeply touched” by what the Hungarian government was doing, he said, adding that the young people were studying in Hungary to equip themselves with European knowledge before returning to the Middle East and Africa to help rebuild their communities.
The Hungarian government’s scholarship scheme, an integral part of the Hungary Helps humanitarian programme, is in its second year, making it possible for almost 200 young people to study in Hungary, he noted.
The young Christians are from Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt.
The pope held the Hungarian flag and posed for a photograph with them in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.
As part of a two-day Hungarian series of programmes in Rome, a Hungarian documentary about Eastern Orthodox communities in the Middle East is being screened on Wednesday evening.
Featured image: MTI/EPA