In the Gaza conflict, people of different religions are suffering together. Hungary is providing help through the Church, but not only to Christians - emphasized Tristan Azbej, the Hungarian government's State Secretary responsible for programs aiding persecuted Christians.
Tristan Azbej explained that in much of the Middle East, Christians have become a minority. In some countries, such as Syria and Iraq, they suffer from physical persecution by violent Islamist movements. In the Holy Land, specifically in the territories of Israel and Palestine, there is no religious persecution, but people of different religions suffer together in various conflicts – like the Gaza conflict that broke out in October.
He added: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán recently received Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, at the Carmelite Monastery. The cardinal emphasized that the Church tries to help not only Christians but also people of other religions – Jews and Muslims – suffering in the Holy Land conflict. The cardinal set an excellent example of solidarity when he offered himself in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages captured by Hamas. When Hungary helps, it starts with what the sufferers need. In the Gaza conflict, this means directly life-saving food and medicine, and on the other hand, financial assistance.
The Hungarian government, through the Hungary Helps Program, has donated $400,000 to the patriarchate to assist the civilian victims of the crisis in Gaza and other parts of the Holy Land, and in addition, provides further support for the survival of Christianity in the Holy Land, the preservation of sacred places, churches, and religious life – said Tristan Azbej.
He emphasized that they also help people of other religions, “we wouldn’t be Christians if we only helped Christians.”
“Christians are currently facing deadly persecution, primarily in Africa, with thousands being killed in Nigeria alone for their faith. Western Europe treats Christian persecution with detachment, and liberals deny it. However, Hungary, through the Hungary Helps Program, signals its sympathy with persecuted Christians. Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, with more than 360 million people suffering for their Christian faith” – the state secretary emphasized.
In several countries of the Sahel region, Islamist terrorist organizations persecute Christians and moderate Muslims, and Hungary tries to help because it is in the interest of the Hungarian people. This region is one of the main starting points of migration to Europe, and if the states there collapse, tens or even hundreds of millions may head towards Europe. However, help should not be provided by bringing the troubled people here, but by taking the help to where the trouble is – said the state secretary responsible for programs aiding persecuted Christians.