Syrian Archbishop awarded with Commander’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit
On the 10th of September, Syrian Orthodox Archbishop, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Matti Sharaf, was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit. The award was presented by Tristan Azbej, State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and for the Hungary Helps Program.
In his speech, Tristan Azbej said that the patriarch was the pastor of a prospering Christian community in Mosul. The community, which had been living in the area for two thousand years, was attacked by the Islamic State in 2014, and the Christians had to leave their homes.
The bishop remained in his church until the last moments but was forced to leave when the terrorists of ISIS were within metres of the church.
Azbej also said that the Hungary Helps Program started to care about his case when Nicodemus Saharaff told Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban about the difficulties and dangers that Christians are facing in his home country. Before meeting the Hungarian government, the Bishop had visited many countries around the world but found them indifferent towards the tragedy of Christianity in Mosul.
The Hungarian State Secretary highlighted that Hungary’s statutory task is to protect and strengthen Christianity as a culture and civilization and prevent migration to protect the Hungarian people.
The Hungarian government supports Mor Nicodemus Daoud Matti Sharaf in his charitable work, including building schools in Iraq. The patriarch is grateful for the help and praises the country wherever he goes.
In his speech, the patriarch said that Christians are indigenous in Iraq, but they were suppressed and forced to flee from their own home. When the community felt that everything and everyone turned against us, God sent them angels to helps them. He also highlighted that he would never forget the Hungarian government and how the people supported them in the most difficult times.