Miklós Soltész, the state secretary for church and ethnic relations of the Prime Minister’s Office, on Wednesday called for strengthening coexistence between Serbians and Hungarians in Serbia’s northernmost Vojvodina region.
Detailing the Hungarian government’s church renovation scheme geared towards Vojvodina at an event with Christian church leaders in Subotica (Szabadka), Soltész said Hungary had quadrupled its support for Vojvodina’s Hungarian historical churches since 2010.
Hungary is supporting the renovation of 25 churches in 23 cities and towns, he said, adding that this was a way of
beyond the border. The scheme also provides a “spiritual restart” after the coronavirus pandemic, he said, underlining the importance of the role churches play in this.
The Hungarian government has earmarked 326 million forints (EUR 929,000) towards the renovation of churches in Vojvodina, Soltész said, adding that the scheme had also helped save jobs in the area.
Over the coming period, the Catholic Diocese of Subotica will be able to
renovate 14 churches,
the Diocese of Zrenjanin (Nagybecskerek) seven, while the Reformed diocese will get to renovate four churches, he said.
Meanwhile, Soltész said the peaceful coexistence between Hungarians and Serbians also allowed the two countries to cooperate in fighting illegal migration and protecting their borders. The state secretary also noted the Hungarian government’s support of minority communities in Hungary over the past decade.