VIDEO: Hungarian Government to Press Trump Administration to Help Persecuted Christians

Tristan Azbej, deputy state secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, says it’s time to “step up” and “form alliances” on their behalf.

Tristan Azbej, Hungary's deputy state secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians.
Tristan Azbej, Hungary's deputy state secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians. (photo: Screenshot)

The Hungarian government will try to persuade the Trump administration and other governments to dedicate themselves to helping persecuted Christians, the head of the first government department set up to help them has said.

In an interview at the end of the first ever government-sponsored conference for persecuted Christians in Budapest, Hungary, Tristan Azbej said the Hungarian government is trying to persuade the Trump administration to follow their lead, adding that it’s time to step up to the plate and form alliances.

He said so far no nations have followed their lead, and although it could be good public relations if Hungary were the only government to make this issue such a priority, that’s not what they want.

Rather, he said, they would like other governments to copy their initiative and take the interests of persecuted Christians to the UN, EU and other international bodies.

Christians continue to suffer in northern Iraq: last night between 700-1,000 Christian families were forced to evacuate the village of Teleskof, an Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac Christian town about 19 miles north of Mosul, as fighting broke out between Kurdish and Iraqi forces. The Hungarian government has been helping Christians to return to Teleskof  

Clashes started Oct. 16 in the aftermath of a referendum where the Kurdish people voted overwhelmingly in favor of seeking full independence from the central government in Baghdad.

Azbej, who is deputy state secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, said the Hungarian government would like Budapest to become a place where persecuted Christians can “speak freely and honestly” about their situation.

He also noted how Hungary’s history — of always being at the frontline of Europe, defending it against invaders — suits them to this role.

“We were the bastion of Christianity in eastern Europe,” Azbej said, “so it’s deeply in the Hungarian psyche.”

Pope Francis speaks to journalists during the flight from Budapest to Italy on April 30 after his second visit to Hungary in less than two years.

Pope in Hungary, German Tax on Catholicism (May 6)

One of the top stories at last month was about a web platform that seeks to combat porn addictions. The project took its inspiration from an unlikely source: Blessed Carlo Acutis. Register writer Solène Tadié wrote that story. She joins us now from Rome just days after she followed Pope Francis’ travels to Hungary last weekend. Solène gives us highlights about the unique ways of evangelizing in our culture and the impact of the Holy Father on young and old alike in Hungary. Then we turn to happenings in the Church in another European country, Germany. Jonathan Liedl has more on the situation there, and we examine the question: How does the German tax influence German Catholicism?