Reformed Church district in Partium – Transylvania collected donations of a significant amount for persecuted Christians
The Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District collected from its members donations amounting to the equivalent of eight million forints to help persecuted Christians. Bishop István Csüry handed over the sum symbolically to Tristan Azbej, Minister of State for helping persecuted Christians and the implementation of the Hungary Helps Programme at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday.
At the press conference organised on the occasion of the event, Mr Csüry said members of the Hungarian Reformed Church community in Partium (Western Romania) themselves are under pressure due to their identity, and therefore they can sympathise with the fate of the persecuted.
He observed that people who believe in resurrection know not only that there is persecution due to the name of Christ, but also that those who follow in the footsteps of Christ will be saved from death because they will be given eternal life.
The bishop further highlighted that his fellow-bishops in Germany took him to task for supporting the Hungarian government, and initially even congregation members were baffled by the collection of donations as they thought that the church was asking for help to support migration. Eventually they managed to disperse confusion. The amount was collected in the last four months of 2018.
Minister of State Tristan Azbej thanked the bishop for the support of his congregation, and said that the amount collected in Partium will serve the purpose – as intended by the donors – of helping Christians driven out of Syria and currently living in refugee camps to return to their native land.
He added that the organisation led by him always asks persecuted Christians how they could help them, and they mostly ask for help with returning to their native land as they would like to continue to live in the places from which they were driven away by members of the Islamic State or other jihadist organisations.
Mr Azbej stressed that today Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world,
more than 245 million people suffer due to their Christianity, and their situation is aggravated by the fact that the Western world shows no solidarity with persecuted Christians.
He added that while there are civil-society church organisations which concern themselves with this issue, Hungary was the first country which began to address it also on a governmental level.
He pointed out that in 2016 the government created an office under the supervision of a deputy state secretary and launched the Hungary Helps Programme, while today the issue of supporting persecuted Christians is being addressed by a department led by a minister of state.
“We have the courage to declare that we are a nation with a Christian culture, and it is therefore our moral duty to help persecuted Christians,” Mr Azbej said.