How Hungary Defends Persecuted Christians Around the World

church building with cross on top

Hungary moved to expand its firm support on Christianity by helping people worldwide who are persecuted because of their faith.

Speaking to CBN News, Tristan Azbej, State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, said that the government helps Christians in other nations through a program called "Hungary Helps," the fund created by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in 2016.

"Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. There are 340 million people who are discriminated or threatened or suffering genocidal attacks because of their faith in Christ," he said.

With the program, the team travels to places where its assistance is needed and offer to help. Asbej revealed that people are "shocked in the good sense", surprised that there are individuals who cared for them with their faith.

In 2018, then Vice President Mike Pence was so impressed with the way the Hungarian initiative works that he made it a pattern for a new program of the United States Agency for International Development at the time, the "Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response."

A Christian nation, Hungary embeds the Christian values in its policies.

"We are trying to implement the social teachings of the Christian faith and the Bible in our policies and part of that is the protection of human dignity, human freedom, but also part of that is the protection of the sanctity of family and marriage," Asbej declared.

With the initiative, the country was already able to help about 250,000 persecuted Christians in just four years. The project also assisted in the reconstruction of 67 churches in Lebanon and rebuilding of Telskuf in Iraq.

Asbej disclosed that 900 buildings were damaged in Telskuf, wherein Jihadis used its church for their shooting practice. When it was rebuilt, a thousand of its 1,300 families who fled have returned and called the town, "Daughter of Hungary."

"What we want to achieve is next to the town that is called now 'Daughter of Hungary.' I wish that there was a 'son of the U.S,'" he added.

Last June, Hungary adopted a new policy that seeks to protect children from exposure to inappropriate sexual content, including restrictions on "popularizing" homosexuality. Asbej explained that the country decided to pass the law to shield the nation from the European Union's regulations on gender ideology.

"We are seeing a very strong lobby in the European Union to push gender ideology through the European Union directives and the legislation and that's such a strong initiative that eventually it will be mandatory to be implemented in the member states of the European Union so we have made this measure to protect our whole legal system from that lobby that is completely, completely alien and foreign from the values of the Hungarian people," he said.

The state secretary shared that through the program, he gained strength from the testimonies of persecuted Christians he met, calling it "a true faith experience."

"So maybe it's not us western Christians supporting the persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East and Africa - they are supporting us. They have a message to keep our faith, to keep our identity in Christ," he further stated.

Christianity was introduced to Hungary by King Stephen, when he founded the country in the 10th century. Seeking to gain more influence through the Church's support, he enforced the conversion of his subjects to the Christian faith, making it a predominantly Christian nation until today.

The country tightened its grip on Christian values through the adoption of Fundamental Law of 2011, after the Fidesz and Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt (Christian Democratic People's Party) formed an alliance and won in 2010. In the law, the government reaffirmed the Christian tradition established by its founder.