News from Hungary

Budapest Report: All that must be known about modern age Christian persecution – Part Two

At the end of March, the report discussing Christian persecution worldwide has been published for the fourth time, entitled: The Budapest Report. The report that deals with the year 2020 was supported by the Government of Hungary, the Hungary Helps Program, and the University of Public Service's professional cooperation. In the document, the authors discuss the background, current state and problems of modern-day Christian persecution, giving an account of the Hungarian effort in helping the Persecuted Christians over the 430 pages of the report. The report was published in Hungarian and in English.

The comprehensive report entitled: The Budapest Report on Christian Persecution – consists of reports from different authors, some we have already discussed. In this article, we continue with our observations.

Balázs Orbán: Hungary has been defending Christianity for more than a millennia

Balázs Orbán, Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, introduces the orientation of Christian democracy in Hungary, its history and its importance. He presents the Hungarian social organisation at the age of the Carpathian Basin’s conquest and writes about the country’s conversion to Christianity, highlighting its importance. He also mentions the importance of Christianity in the main events of Hungary’s history. According to the author, the 21st century is full of changes and challenges, but religion can be an important guideline in these insecure times. Hungary has been defending Christianity for more than a millennia, which is important from both a religious and ideological point of view. These historical events made the Hungarian nation great, and that is why Hungary is so attached to Christianity, writes Balázs Orbán.

Persecuted Christians around the world

The report presents violent attacks against Christian communities in a regional division.

In one of the studies, András Stefanovszky writes about the situation of sub-Saharan Christians. He highlights that the three focal points of violent attacks against Christians are the West African bloody quadrangle (Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger), the central conflict zone (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan), and the east coast (Somalia, Kenya, Mozambique).

The active jihadist groups in this area are Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), Fulani herdsmen, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP).

The author recalls that, during the last number of years, these groups have killed more people than the ISIS and al-Kaida together in the Middle East.

The title of Károly Gergely’s study – coffin from the cradle – refers to the fact that the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity, becomes its coffin due to the persecution. According to the study, since the beginning of the 20th century, the number of Christians has drastically decreased in the Middle East due to the continuous civil wars and Islamist groups’ attacks.

We can read about violence against Asian Christians in the study of Eszter Rebeka Józsa. This area is multicoloured, with mostly Muslim and Buddhist majority countries. The author highlights that the main problem is that while the local states do not sanction Christian persecution, they accept and encourage discrimination against Christians. The author enumerates atrocities in Pakistan, India, Myanmar, and other countries of the area committed against Christians during the last year.

Viktor Marsai writes about the old and new territories of Christian persecution in Africa. He highlights that the number of attacks on Christians has increased during the last year, mainly due to the spreading of radical Islamist doctrines and the frequent emergence of new jihadist groups. These groups attack not only the Christians but also the Muslims, who are making efforts to live in peace with Christians.

In their study, Jacqueline Isaac and Arthur Trald write about Christian persecution carried out by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. They draw attention to the fact that there is public data about the anti-Christian attacks of the IS. They highlight that the accountability of the terrorists would help to solve the problem and stop the genocide.

Nathan Johnson calls Nigeria the centre of modern Christian persecution in his study. He reviews the main political, ethnic and religious reasons, which led to the development of Christian persecution in the country. He introduces the most prominent organisations responsible for persecution: Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, and conservative Islamist communities. This latter has an unimportant responsibility in persecution, comparing to the two others. At the end of his study, he also writes about how persecution affects international public opinion and how can the different countries help the work of the Nigerian government.

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