The country’s efforts have not gone without sharp criticism, but Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who spoke to Fox News exclusively, is not apologizing.
“We give the money directly to the churches, to the church communities. We have rebuilt 33 torn-down Christian churches in Lebanon, for example,” he said.
The country has also rebuilt towns and schools for the Christian communities in the Middle East.
Szijjárto has addressed the crisis at the United Nations General Assembly and also through the Hungary Helps program. The country with less than one percent of the world’s population has already spent $40 million helping Christians, who now make up at least seven out of 10 cases of religious persecution globally.
“Under current circumstances, when we are faced with tremendous historic challenges ahead of us, ahead of the European Union, someone has to speak openly,” Szijjarto told Fox News. “And this road is taken by us currently.”
Hungary’s constitution, ratified in 2011, affirms its Christian foundations.
“A whole culture is under organized attack, our culture and our civilization. Not only in Africa, not only in the Middle East, but here too in Europe, the land of, so far, the most successful Christian culture,” said Prime Minister Viktor Oban in a speech last month.
Orban, who last year won a third consecutive term with two-thirds majority, has come under attack for his unabashedly pro-Christian rhetoric. Criticized for his anti-immigration policies, Orban was characterized by the outgoing U.N. Human rights chief as a racist who was stoking hatred for political profit.
Szijjártó disagrees. “If a nation is not proud of its national identity, or if it does not stick to historic cultural and religious heritage, then that country and that nation will not be strong for sure because it loses the anchor,” he said.
Orban has found a global ally in President Trump. When the two met last year, Trump thanked him for Hungary helps persecuted Christiansthe work his country is doing for Christian communities across the globe.
“I am gratified that Hungary’s State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and the Hungary Helps Program share America’s conviction in defending and advancing religious liberty, and I thank them for convening this gathering,” Trump said after the White House encounter.