This year’s International Religious Freedom Summit opened at Hungary’s embassy in Washington, DC late on Monday. Speakers at the event called the fight for religious freedom “the most important human rights fight of the present”. Tristan Azbej, Hungary’s state secretary in charge of aid to persecuted Christian communities, told MTI on the sidelines of the event that it was “a sign of recognition of the Hungarian government’s work in the field” that the embassy was hosting it. In his opening address, Azbej gave an account of the Hungarian government’s recent efforts to provide aid to persecuted Christians through the Hungary Helps programme, focusing on communities in Nigeria, Nicaragua and Iraq.
Katrina Lantos, the daughter of late congressman Tom Lantos and co-president of the summit, said Hungary “is setting the pace” in helping persecuted communities, its efforts “manifested in deeds, not only in words”.
Nigerian Bishop Wilfred Anagbe said “every person has to right to exercise their religion and faith,” and referred to Hungary as a “spearhead” in the fight for persecuted Christians.