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(CBN) BUDAPEST – In a time when most of Europe is in the grips of atheism, there is a nation where Christianity seems to not only be holding its own but some say is thriving.
Imagine a government that is unabashedly Christian, that thinks Christian values are worth defending; that wants to protect and even nourish the family.
Welcome to Hungary.
A Christian Nation
Hungary’s constitution is explicitly Christian, and says that marriage is between one man and one woman and that life begins at conception. It even includes the phrase, “God bless the Hungarians.”
Hungary’s Faith Church, with 300 branches, is one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Europe, with 70,000 attendees.
Help for Persecuted Christians
And the Hungarian government has taken on the role of protecting Christianity. It’s even set up an office to help persecuted Christians worldwide.
When CBN News revealed the story of Sweden’s threat to deport Iranian actress Aideen Strandsson back to certain prison and torture in Islamic Iran, only one nation stepped up and offered her asylum: Hungary.
The Hungarian government says, “Taking in persecuted Christians is our moral and constitutional duty.”
Returning to Its Christian Roots
Hungarian policy analyst István Pócza says Hungary has only returned to its roots as a historic bastion of Christianity, dating back over a thousand years.
“Hungary wants to protect the European values; European Christian Jewish values,” he told CBN News.
Christianity in Hungary has survived almost 200 years of Muslim Ottoman rule and Soviet Communist domination.
Secretary of State Zoltán Kovács told us, “You have to stick to your traditions and legacies. Europe’s legacy is a Christian legacy, not necessarily in a religious form but most definitely in a cultural form.”
And it’s this belief that has Hungary locked in a battle with the European Union over migrants.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Mihály Orbán has accused the European Union of trying to Islamize Europe, and Hungary has infuriated Brussels by building a fence to keep illegal migrants out.
Orbán has essentially told the European Union to ‘take a hike’ when it comes to open borders. Hungary has seen the terrorism and chaos caused by migration in Western Europe and has said, “not here.”
The European Union has even gone to court to force Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to take in migrants. Mr. Oban has accused Brussels of “blackmail.”
“Securing the borders to stop illegal migration is indeed a solution, and this is actually the only way to reinstate law and order at the borders of the European union, and not the other way around,” Kovács told CBN News.
Kovács says it matters that most of the migrants trying to enter Hungary are Muslim. And he says Western European nations are paying a heavy price by pretending that Islam doesn’t matter.
“We’ve been living with and close to Islam for centuries in the past and we know about it. So, that’s why it does matter who has come in and in what manner people are coming,” Kovács told CBN News.
Orbán Is No Putin, Or Is He?
Orbán is often portrayed in the western media as a version of Vladimir Putin; an undemocratic strongman. In fact, at an EU summit in 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reportedly greeted Orbán with the words, “Hello, dictator.”
Hungary is most certainly not a dictatorship. But Orbán’s critics accuse him of corruption and using the instruments of government against his political opponents, including the recent billboard campaign against billionaire George Soros.
Tamás Lattmann of the Institute of International Relations told us, “What we see in Hungary today is the shameless use of public money, of tax money to formulate pro-government messages.”
Bulcsú Hunyadi of the Political Capital Policy Research and Consulting Institute said, “Since 2008 the Hungarian government headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been continuously weakening the system of checks and balances and weakening democratic institutions.”
But Orbán, a man who even his critics concede is a skilled politician, doesn’t seem to have a serious political rival, and he will probably remain in power, meaning Hungary’s standoff with the European Union over migrants is likely to escalate.
Is also means that Hungary will continue to have a government that thinks Christianity is worth protecting.
(Voice of the Persecuted) Late August, at a meeting in Rome with Church leaders from the Middle East to discuss the threat Christians are facing, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledged to “take action” against Christian persecution. Setting an example for other nations, the Hungarian government has now created a specialized government office for the purpose of addressing the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and discrimination a portion of Christians in Europe are experiencing. Hungary is the first nation to establish a special government department to raise international awareness of the “untenable situation”of persecuted Christians and organize humanitarian actions.
Zoltan Balog, the Hungarian Minister for Human Capacities, whose ministry will oversee the newly established government department, told Catholic News Agency,
“Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed out of religious reasons, four of them are Christians.”
“In 81 countries around the world Christians are persecuted and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against. Millions of Christian lives are threatened by followers of radical religious ideologies.”
The Hungarian government is known for speaking in international meetings against the modern-day persecution of Christians. They’ve also helped Middle Eastern Christian communities morally and financially supporting them to survive in their homelands.”
Balog said his government will do everything in it’s power to help Christians living in the Middle Eastern region and added,
“The establishment of this new government office, whose very nature is to deal with this matter, is another manifestation of our dedication to this issue.”
European nations are struggling with the issues of the refugee crisis. A humanitarian crisis and clash of cultures, they were completely unprepared for, as in Germany and other European nations. A large number of Germans don’t agree with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy towards refugees and have lost faith in her claim Germany will successfully handle the situation. Many have also criticized Hungary’s leadership for their efforts to stop the influx of refugees coming to and through their country.
But where is the outcry asking governments along the Persian Gulf why they have done too little to help refugees from Arab nations, such as Syria? These states are also said to be funding the instability which has caused the refugee crisis. Syrians make up the largest group of refugees in an exodus not seen since World War II. In a past report, Amnesty International noted the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council offered zero formal resettlement slots to Syrians by the end of 2014. In 2015, even their own citizens rose the question, “Why don’t you let them in, you discourteous people?” A twitter campaign followed #ShameOnArabRulers.
Gulf officials refute the claims highlighting their large donations towards helping Syrian refugees in other Arab states, namely Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Saudi Arabia issued refugee numbers that were impossible to verify. In another state, thousands of Syrians were offered work visa’s, but many claimed they’d rather brave the journey to Europe than to continue facing severe restrictions in these countries. Others said they never felt safe and their residency could be cancelled at anytime, putting them in a precarious situation.
Some say it’s unfair to say they’re doing nothing. Certainly the Gulf states could do far more welcoming their Arab neighbors and be a part of a solution, culturally and economically. One must also consider another possible reason being raised for the inaction of these Islamic nations: An agenda to spread Islam, through demographics, into the ‘Christian’ west.
Voice of the Persecuted congratulate’s Hungary’s decision to be a voice and do more for Christians being persecuted throughout the modern world, one of the worst humanitarian crises of the planet. Praying to see other nations follow their lead to take Christian persecution and the severe violations of their human rights more seriously.
UPDATE: A dear Sister who cares deeply for the persecuted members of the Church shared the following prayer after seeing this report. We ask that you join us to pray with her for those taking a stand for our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.
This report about Hungary is some of the BEST news we have heard in a LONG , LONG TIME!
May The LORD bless the Hungarian people and their leaders for their courageous stand in an era when defending Christians is not “Politically Correct” … according to the agenda of the 10 Kings of Revelation 17.
I pray they STAND STRONG against the pressure and economic blackmail they will surely encounter in this evil world.
Is Hungary going to be one of the SHEEP NATIONS, when The LORD comes to separate the SHEEP from the GOATS ?
Sr. Judith Hannah + + +
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