On Twitter, Katalin Novák, president of the country of Hungary, wrote last April, after the Pope’s visit: “The Holy Father assures that he greatly appreciates what Hungary is doing for persecuted Christians.” Specifically, she was referring to the Secretary of State for the aid of persecuted Christians. According to Hungary: “We do so, firstly, because we have been a Christian nation for a thousand years, now led by a Christian-Democratic government and secondly, because we recognize that the persecution of Christians is one of the least-known crises of our time.”
How do they do that? Its operating arm is the agency Hungary Helps, which the country launched in 2019. Its philosophy is to help communities in their own countries, so they are not forced to leave their home. “We have allocated millions of euros to 25 countries facing terrorism and pandemics, with a special focus on Christian communities,” explained Péter Szijjártó, the Hungarian foreign minister, a week ago. “The strategy of bringing everyone to Europe has failed; help should go where the problems are,” he added.
It is confirmed corporately by Azbej on the website of the Secretary of State. “The migration and humanitarian policies of the Hungarian government go hand in hand. We do not advocate for people in need to leave their home countries. Rather, we encourage them to stay in their countries of origin or return to them. We have as a principle that help should be given where there are problems, instead of bringing people with problems to Europe and our country, ”he writes. As a result, “500,000 people have been able to remain in or return to their countries of origin.”
The Pope does not share the idea of “focusing especially on Christian communities”, as he proposes to encourage collaboration between people of different ideas or religions. But the idea is similar to the one that during a press conference in November 2022, Francis attributed in glowing terms to Angela Merkel. “To solve the emigration issue, let’s solve Africa’s problems with development plans,” he proposed.