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The Hungarian government rejects an often-heard approach by the international community under which some forms of Christianophobia, or hatred of Christians could be acceptable, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, told an international conference on persecuted Christian communities, in Budapest. In his address, Szijjártó said it currently required courage to openly talk about the situation of Christian communities and participants in the conference had exhibited extreme courage when accepting the invitation. Szijjártó said that last year 2,625 Christians had been arrested without any legal basis and 1,200 Christian churches had been attacked nationwide. The international community is incapable of adequately handling the problem and often resorts to hypocrisy, he added. It is often suggested that talking about Christian communities is a kind of discrimination, he said, adding that crimes against Christians or other communities cannot be left unpunished. That, he said, could be interpreted as encouragement to commit further crimes.
Concerning migration, Szijjártó rejected suggestions that countries could only fall into three categories of origin, transit or destination countries, and added that there are countries that do not wish to fall into any of those. Everybody has the right to have a safe life in their homeland, and the Hungarian government has built its policy towards assisting Christian communities on that basis, he said.
Gebran Bassil, the foreign minister of Lebanon, said that two thirds of his country’s Christians have now fled, and urged a cooperation between East and West to fight terrorism. If Christians disappear from the land of Jesus, there will be no point in further protecting them, he argued.
Joe Grogan, home policy advisor to the US President, read out a letter from Donald Trump, in which the president spoke highly of the Hungary Helps programme, and thanked the Hungarian foreign ministry’s contribution to US efforts to promote religious freedoms.