‘A Nation campaigning for persecuted Christians” – Tristan Azbej to ICC
Under the title, "A Nation campaigning for persecuted Christians", International Christian Concern conducted a video interview with State Secretary Tristan Azbej. In the interview, the Hungarian State Secretary talks about the State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, which is unique in the world.
As reported earlier, Tristan Azbej, State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and for the Hungary Helps Program, gave an interview to International Christian Concern, in which he talks about the Hungary Helps Program, and explains how the Hungarian government provide help to the Christian communities in need, especially in the Middle East and Africa.
The State Secretary explains that some decades ago, Hungary also received international aid. Now, as the Hungarian economy is in better conditions, the government wants to help other countries in need. Azbej also adds that as a “proud Christian nation”, Hungary specialised in helping Christian communities.
To the question about the initiative’s international reception, Azbej said that many are surprised when they hear about this program, and he also admitted that it is not really popular in the European Union.
He says they have been told that “it goes against political correctness to support Christians”; in fact, “it is against political correctness to be Christian”.
Even though there are three hundred and forty-million Christians in the world, who are persecuted for their faith in Europe, the work of the Hungarian State Secretary is labelled as “political provocation”.
Asked about himself, Tristan Azbjej said that his name is not Hungarian; however, he is a Hungarian patriotic politician, which can seem controversial. He comes from an international family; his mother is French, and his father is Hungarian with Armenian heritage. This heritage makes him more sensitive to the cause of Eastern Christians.
He first encountered the situation of Christians in the Middle East, when he served for four years at the Hungarian embassy in Israel. When he returned from this mission, the Hungarian government was about to launch a Deputy State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians. With his experience in Israel, he was a suitable candidate to lead it.
Azbej himself is a Roman Catholic, but he said, to help the people in need, you do not need to be a believer. At the same time, he also highlighted that the program’s name is misleading because, in fact, with their testimony and their unshakable faith in God, the persecuted Christians help at least as many Western Christians as the Hungarian government helps them.