The welcome speech was addressed by Fidesz MEP György Hölvényi at the 2nd International Conference on Persecuted Christians on November 26, 2019.
Madame Anita, Eminence, Excellencies, Minister!
We have heard great greetings and analyses in recent hours. For the second time, you, Hungarian people and decision-makers, are meeting in Budapest to discuss ways to help Christians in need and Christian persecution at a world conference. Why do we do this together, without consideration of time or energy?
1. It is good to be together, to strengthen each other. Much has happened in the world in recent years in regard to persecuted Christians. A constant relationship with the leaders and representatives of churches has been established. Hungary carries out its work through the Hungary Helps program with a unique political weight at the level of the State Secretary. As a Hungarian MEP, I was given the opportunity to work for persecuted and needy Christians and other religious minorities.
We have a working group in the European People’s Party, where we give the affected communities a say and publicity almost weekly. In the European Parliament, we made a serious breach in the wall of indifference. The European Parliament has classified the persecution of Christians in the Middle East as genocide. As this year I was reelected as a Member of the European Parliament, I see new common strategic tasks to be carried out with you.
2. “Bring the people together.” This is my motto to ensure a continuous flow of information and a presence in international diplomacy on the subject of the persecution of Christians. Thanks to Minister Szijjártó, Hungary is at the forefront of this. The goal is clear: Tolerant governments that support Christian persecution, religious persecution, must be kept under constant pressure.
3. International cooperation is needed for the survival and strengthening of local communities and the promotion of return of people to their homelands. We need to think about how to move forward in a more coordinated and effective way than before. I emphasize: governments and the communities concerned, together.
4. New financial resources must be mobilized. This is not just about providing humanitarian assistance to the communities suffering persecution. It is important to ensure that large, international and EU development funds take churches into consideration according to their importance in society. The heads of the churches themselves must be firmly represented. In order to achieve a common goal, the different denominations also need joint action and strategic cooperation.
You can count on me as a Hungarian Member of the European Parliament, a member of the Committee on Development and, last but not least, a Goodwill Ambassador of Hungary Helps. This is not generosity on my part.
I have received much more from you than I can offer in return.