Book Review

Budapest Report: All that must be known about modern age Christian persecution – Part Three

At the end of March, the report discussing Christian persecution worldwide was published for the fourth time, entitled: The Budapest Report. The report that deals with the year 2020 was supported by the Government of Hungary, the Hungary Helps Program, and the University of Public Service's professional cooperation. In the document, the authors discuss the background, current state and problems of modern-day Christian persecution. Over the 430 pages of the report, we get an understanding of the Hungarian effort in helping persecuted Christians. The report was published in Hungarian and in English.

The comprehensive report entitled: The Budapest Report on Christian Persecution – consists of reports from different authors, some we have already discussed (here and here). In this article, we continue with our observations.

In the article discussing the security of Christians, Miklós Szánthó, in his paper, points out that there’s no need for aggression to defeat Christians,  [it] only “requires” the deconstruction of their ideas.

The author asks what can we as Christians expect from a world that has rejected its own identity? He goes on to say that only the return to the Christian values can lead us out from the moral mire.

Ágnes Környei writes about the possible options to stand against Christian persecution. Even though the freedom of religion is a universal human right, in many places, it has been either restricted, or Christians are persecuted. In many places, Christians are second rate citizens from a cultural and legal aspect, even worst when it manifests in physical atrocities, sexual assault, child kidnapping, imprisonment, torture, and execution. These people have to endure this because of their faith.

In the subsection entitled: “State and religious organisation in the protection of Christianity”, Hajnalka Szilágyi-Kiss wrote about the situation of Iraq. She notes that in Iraq, the numbers of the most ancient eastern Assyrian and Chaldean Catholic communities are declining rapidly, adding the political instability, religious and ethnic conflict, and the presence of terror groups present a danger to them.

The Hungarian government has set the goal to aid persecuted Christians to remain in their homelands and prosper by providing the means to achieve good living conditions while protecting the local Christian culture via the Hungary Helps Program. Chaldean Catholics mainly populate the village Tell-Aszkuf, and because of the destruction brought by ISIS, one thousand three hundred families became migrants; the Hungarian government provided them with aid to return home and begin again. Those who returned named the village “The daughter of Hungary” as a gesture of gratitude.

The main focus of the Hungary Helps Program in Iraq is to rejuvenate the economy and create new jobs, but new schools have also been built with Hungarian help in this region; the Hungarian government also supports the maintenance of hospitals.

The Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference organises charity events to gather donations for the Christians in the Holy Land – wrote Tamás Tóth – but they have also started charity events to support individual goals, often to reconstruct the homes of the persecuted Christians.

Máté Szaplonczay’s paper that focussed on the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church stated: “Hungary sets an example in aiding the persecuted Christians. He relates how the Greek Catholic Church organises charity events to gather donation for Christians in need, which they use to rebuild churches. From the donations given previously, the reconstruction of the Al-Dmeine church roof was possible in 2018.

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