"In our times, Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world," said Tristan Azbej, the State Secretary responsible for programs aiding persecuted Christians at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, during the opening of an exhibition titled "In the Crossfire" in London on Monday, which showcases the situation of Christians exposed to persecution.
Tristan Azbej, speaking at the event location which was the Hungarian House in London, and addressing the public media, stated: “The Western world, so proud of all other human rights and tolerance, is unwilling to acknowledge the suffering, persecution, and disenfranchisement of more than 300 million people. Hungary, based on humanitarian grounds and a value-based choice, does not accept this, and therefore, at the beginning of 2017, the Hungarian government launched a program titled Hungary Helps. This is Hungary’s international aid program, aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at assisting persecuted Christians,” said the State Secretary at the opening of the exhibition in London.
Tristan Azbej emphasized: “Since the program’s inception, the help of the Hungarian people has reached more than one and a half million people in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the Sahel region, who are persecuted for their faith by terrorist organizations or extremist movements. This is an important message of solidarity. However, its aim is also to impact the conscience of the Western world, a call to action in the interest of those innocently suffering and persecuted,” said the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
He added: “All of this is also an important value choice and message from Hungary in an era when the Western Christian civilization denies its own cultural roots, trying to undermine everything that stems from Christian social teaching.”
Tristan Azbej explained: “The material for the ‘In the Crossfire’ exhibition was compiled with the assistance of curators from the National Museum, carefully ensuring that the material presented human fates, the present and history of Christian communities to the visitors, while not being overly sentimental or sensationalist.”
According to the State Secretary, when the Hungary Helps program was launched, its first goal was to provide a humanitarian response to the crimes and atrocities committed against Christians by the jihadist terrorist organization known as the Islamic State. “In the Middle East, the situation for Christians is still very difficult, but the persecution of Christians primarily takes a murderous and life-threatening form in West Africa. Here, local branches of the Islamic State and other jihadist groups are persecuting Christians,” said Tristan Azbej.
He emphasized: “In Nigeria alone, three thousand Christians fall victim to these attacks each year. Therefore, the Hungary Helps program is now focusing its aid efforts on the West African region.”