The persecution of Christians must be stopped both in Europe and across the entire world, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has said. Addressing an online conference organised by the International Religious Freedom Alliance, Szijjártó said the world had a greater need for Christianity’s role in building communities than ever before. “Unfortunately Christianity is still the most persecuted religion on Earth and we should not forget about that, not even under these challenging circumstances we are experiencing now,” he said.
Citing the latest official statistics, the minister said some 260 million Christians faced persecution in the world today and 3,000 had been killed this year. This, he said, meant that eight Christians were killed daily on average. He added that 9,500 attacks had been carried out against Christian churches and facilities this year. “And we Europeans do have to be aware that this is not just a remote phenomenon,” he said. “This phenomenon has been here in Europe now,” Szijjártó added, noting the recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria and the vandalisation of statues of Pope John Paul II in Poland. Szijjártó expressed his solidarity with the Polish government and Poland’s Catholic Church, saying that the “extremist attacks” against Christian communities must be stopped. “This is a common responsibility of ours that we do have to push back these extreme anti-Christian movements,” he said. Szijjártó also said that measures enacted against the coronavirus pandemic should not limit the right of Christian communities to practise their faith.