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Christian communities are being reborn in Northern Iraq

Tristan Ajbej

The work of the Hungary Helps - Hungary Helps program is satisfactory, Christian communities are being reborn in Northern Iraq," said Tristan Azbej, the Hungarian State Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during his visit to Zaho, Iraq.

Tristan Azbej said that Saturday was a day that neither the Armenian-speaking Christian community of the Iraqi city of Zaho nor the staff of the state secretariat responsible for programs helping persecuted Christians will forget: the festive consecration ceremony of the Virgin Mary Church and community center, built with Hungarian support for the Armenian Apostolic Church, is still ongoing. He added that the construction of the temple was requested by the local congregation and Catholicos-Patriarch Karekin II from Hungary to provide a worthy home for the faith and community life of believers who fled to Zaho over the past centuries.

During his first visit, the community leaders told him that their previous temple had become life-threatening, and they could not expect support from any other Western country to replace it. He highlighted that the temple, built from a 750,000 euro donation from the Hungary Helps Program, has a capacity of 300 people and includes religious education rooms and a parish office, contributing to the revival and retention on their homeland of the previously persecuted Armenian Christian community.

“It was uplifting for me that during today’s church consecration ceremony, I was named the founding father of the church. I told the celebrating Armenian community that this honor belongs to every Hungarian who supports our work to help persecuted Christians,” stated Tristan Azbej.

Tristan Azbej indicated that over the past few years, the Hungarian government has implemented numerous projects in Iraq to help persecuted Christians and Yazidis: since 2016, a total of 21 humanitarian and development supports have been provided here. Beyond supplying those fleeing the war and the Islamic State terrorist organization, they have rebuilt churches, homes, and schools, but also assisted in repairing war destruction, water supply, and agriculture, because they believe that instead of bringing distressed people to Europe, help should be brought to where it is needed – emphasized the state secretary. 

Source: MTI

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