In a press statement given following a visit to Hungary, Italian Federal Secretary Salvini and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spelled out their determination that priority be “given to European culture based on Christian values”. 1 Prime Minister Orbán expressed his frustration with an equivalence being drawn between democracy and liberalism, describing his government’s politics as “Christian democratic”.

The Government of Hungary has been one of the more vocal governments in discussing the plight of the persecuted Church, and is facing up to the immensity of the human rights crisis being faced by Christians globally. According to the Deputy State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, “Indigenous minorities are at risk of eradication, despite having lived in peace with the surrounding peoples for centuries.”2

The Deputy State Secretariat, which was founded in 2016, focuses on raising awareness of the persecution of Christians, and providing humanitarian aid in regions of crisis, through the financing or co-financing of the construction of schools, hospitals, and community centres, and the provision of a special scholarship programme. Its ultimate goal is “to help persecuted Christians remain in their ancient lands and to strengthen their communities.”

In related news, Open Doors UK has reported on the sharp uptick in the level of persecution being faced by the church globally. In its World Watch List Report 2019, Open Doors states that forty countries “are now designated as places where Christians experience ‘very high’ or ‘extreme’ levels of persecution. In 2014, only 22 countries were designated in this way – a number that has almost doubled in just five years. In real terms this means that approximately 245 million Christians are at risk of ‘high’, ‘very high’, or ‘extreme’ levels of persecution in 2019. An increase from 215 million in 2018.”3

The subject of Christian persecution is also the subject of the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians. The Interim Review was published recently and is available online, while the Full Review is expected to be delivered at the end of June. 4

 

Footnotes

  1. We agree with Matteo Salvini that Europe’s borders must be defended against the migrant invasion, https://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/news/viktor-orban-we-agree-with-matteo-salvini-that-europe-s-borders-must-be-defended-against-the-migrant-invasion (accessed 8 May 2019)
  2. Deputy State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, https://www.kormany.hu/en/ministry-of-human-resources/deputy-state-secretariat-for-the-aid-of-persecuted-christians (accessed 8 May 2019)
  3. Ed Dr Matthew Rees, The Open Doors World Watch List Report 2019, ‘Key findings’, https://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/resources/wwl-advocacy-report-2019.pdf (accessed 8 May 2019)
  4. Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen
    , Bishop of Truro, Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians, https://christianpersecutionreview.org.uk/interim-report/ (accessed 8 May 2019)
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