Hungary Creates First-Ever Office to Address Christian Persecution
JNS.org — Hungary has established the world’s first-ever government office to address Christian persecution in the Middle East and Europe, the Catholic News Agency reported on Tuesday.
Although the exact mission has not yet been established, the office will have a humanitarian purpose, in addition to examining the state of Christianity worldwide, said Zoltán Balog, the Hungarian Minister for Human Capacities.
A budget of $3.37 million has already been allocated to the project and Tamás Török, Hungary’s former deputy ambassador to Italy, has been chosen to oversee the department.
The decision followed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s and Balog’s participation in the annual summer meeting for Catholic legislators in Italy, where they had a private audience with the Pope. On that same trip, Orban and Balog spoke with Christian leaders from the Middle East to discuss the threat to their communities.
At the time, Orban “declared… that Hungary will take action against the persecution of Christians and stands ready to support these communities whose very existence is threatened,” according to Balog.
“[W]e decided that there needs to be an efficiently operating deputy state secretariat with the government’s authorization to combat every form of Christian persecution,” Balog added.
Hungary has started other initiatives to assist suffering Christians, he said, including designating government funding to cover education costs for children in the Middle East.