United States aid agency values Hungary’s experience in helping persecuted Christians
‘The United States government’s aid agency USAID values Hungary’s experience in aiding persecuted Christian communities and considers the policy important’— according to the Head of the State Secretariat for Aiding persecuted Christians, speaking in Washington, DC on Thursday.
State Secretary Tristan Azbej, in a recent two-day visit to Washington, held talks on Thursday with USAID officials Hal Ferguson and Samah Norquist. “The American side considers the Hungarian programme a model scheme,” said Azbej in an interview with the MTI Hungarian News Agency.
“They plan on modelling the United States’ scheme to aid persecuted Christians on the Hungarian one,” he said, noting that Hungary’s policy was the first such government programme in the world.
“It had already been stated at earlier ministerial-level meetings that Hungary’s scheme is a model whose main idea is providing help for persecuted Christians in their homelands,” he added.
According to the Hungarian State Secretary, his Thursday talks had touched on the details of a possible US scheme similar to Hungary’s. “The Americans are only just starting the programme that had been announced by Vice President Mike Pence,” Azbej said, mentioning that Hungary’s experience in aiding persecuted Christians goes back to 2016.
Mr Azbej also told us that he had informed his American partners about specific Christian communities in need of help in the Middle East. He highlighted a donation of the Hungarian government, aimed at rebuilding homes destroyed by the Islamic State terrorist group in the northern Iraqi city of Tesqopa.
Hungary is currently contributing to the refurbishment of 31 Christian churches in Lebanon and is also supporting the schools, churches and hospitals of Christian communities in the region.
Tristan Azbej, Head of the State Secretariat and the Hungarian Government’s “Hungary Helps” programme also participated in round-table discussions on religious affairs and attended a gala dinner hosted by the Center for Security Policy (CSP).
As was communicated earlier, Péter Szijjártó Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, after attending a conference on religious freedom and the protection of religious communities organised by the US State Department in Washington DC at the end of July 2018 stated:
“The Hungarian government is continuing its policy of supporting Christian communities in the Middle East.”
Source: Daily News Hungary, MTI