Bishop Tamás Fabiny: We found the ancient roots of Christianity in Iraq
The Hungarian Lutheran Bishop Tamás Fabiny visited the Middle East and Africa to meet communities of persecuted Christians. In an interview with ECHO TV, a Hungarian television channel, he said: “In Iraq, we discovered the ancient roots of Christianity.” He stressed how it is extremely important to help Christian communities in their own country so that they do not have to flee their ancestors’ land. Together with the Hungarian ecumenical agency, ‘Interchurch Aid,’ Bishop Tamás presented a donation from Hungarian Lutherans to the Iraqi people in need.
As an envoy for ‘Hungarian Interchurch Aid,’ Dr. Tamas Fabiny, Bishop of the Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) paid a visit to Kurdistan, in Iraq. Along with other leaders of the organisation, he delivered a donation of fifteen million Hungarian Forint (about 50 thousand USD) which had been raised during the season of Advent by Hungarian Lutherans. The bishop said that the donation was in addition to the aid efforts of the Hungarian government in Telskuf and will go towards the renovation of seventeen dwelling-houses in the area.
During the visit, Dr Fabiny also met members of Christian communities that were previously persecuted by terrorists of the Islamic State. Dr. Fabiny remarked that finding members of Christian communities whose ancestors had lived in the area since the fourth century was a very emotional moment in his visit.
“In Iraq, we met some ancient aspects of Christianity”, he said. He went on to stress the importance of helping Christians remain in their native communities without the threat of forced emigration.
Later, he travelled to Nigeria where Christian communities, including Lutherans, have been subject to fierce attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist organisation. The visit was primarily to the northern settlements which had been devastated years before by Islamic terrorists.
At a prayer service with the local bishop, held at the altar of a destroyed church, Dr. Fabiny stated that a new plan was beginning to emerge that, with Hungarian aid, would rebuild some of the demolished churches.