Naturally, not every politician, thinker, artist, or leader is on the right track in their advocacy of Christianity, and one must always be wary of the risk that the most virulent of anti-Christian thought and action might actually arrive cloaked in Christian garb. I myself have been fooled or disappointed by many who seemingly talked the talk, but had no intention of ever walking the walk. Nevertheless, one must also consider that most politicians, thinkers, artists, and leaders in the West make great efforts to disavow, disparage, and reject Christianity, from both a historical and a contemporary perspective. Simply put, most of the Western elite are explicitly anti-Christian and, as mentioned above, have dedicated themselves to the establishment of a post-Christian world.
People in the public sphere who openly advocate in favor of Christianity clearly pit themselves against this zeitgeist. At its most basic level, arguing in favor of Christianity has become an act of defiance and contention. Unfortunately, the number of people in the public sphere that openly support and defend Christianity is continuously dwindling. Nevertheless, a few voices do exist. Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary, is one of these voices.
The only important question regarding Orbán and Christianity is this - is he the real deal? If one were to judge solely by the amount of negative press he receives in the anti-Christian West, one would be quick to say yes, but judgements must never be made solely on the opinions and rhetoric and others. The individual's own thoughts and actions must also be scrutinized.
One of the first things Orbán did shortly after he returned to power in 2010 was to ensure the drafting and ratification of the first Hungarian Constitution since the collapse of communism in 1989. The document itself is a bold series of declarations - one that pits itself in direct opposition to the progressive, globalist agenda. Below are some excerpts:
- We are proud that our king Saint Stephen built the Hungarian State on solid ground and made our country a part of Christian Europe one thousand years ago.
- We recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood. We value the various religious traditions of our country.
- We promise to preserve the intellectual and spiritual unity of our nation torn apart in the storms of the last century.
- We hold that after the decades of the twentieth century which led to a state of moral decay, we have an abiding need for spiritual and intellectual renewal.
The next question that the Hungarian government must answer is this: Isn’t there enough to do combating anti-Christian phenomena here in Europe? Why do we need to provide help on other continents? The Hungarian government is convinced that these two aspects – the problems facing Christianity in Europe and the persecution of Christians in Africa and the Middle East – cannot be separated. The facts are widely known: around the world, of those persecuted for their religion four out of five are Christian; in 2018 alone, 245 million Christians suffered persecution; 4,300 Christians were killed because of their faith – and these are the people we know about; 1,847 Christian churches and other Christian institutions were attacked. Yet Europe is silent – silent time and again. Some mysterious force seals the lips and ties the hands of European politicians. In Europe the persecution of Christians can only be seen as a human rights issue. And if it is a human rights issue, Christians cannot be named specifically, but only alongside other people persecuted for their faith. As a result, Christians and the persecution of Christians is dissolved within the diverse family of the religious persecuted. This is some credit to politicians, and it mustn’t be underestimated; but we must realise, we should understand, that those who treat the persecution of Christians as merely a humanitarian problem fail to talk about the most important aspect. An organised and wide-ranging attack is being made not only on individual human beings, not only on individual communities, but on an entire culture: our culture, our civilisation. Not only in Africa, not only in the Middle East, but also here in Europe – in the land of the most successful Christian civilisation in history. The forms taken by the attacks are varied: population exchange, immigration, stigmatisation, ridicule, the muzzle of political correctness.
Why are we talking about this here in Budapest, of all places? I have personal experience of the fact that there are many good, true Christian politicians working in Europe today; but in the current zeitgeist, its media landscape, and under the burden of ongoing coalition talks, they’re unable to speak out, don’t dare to and don’t want to. Here in Hungary the situation is different: there is a coalition-free government, political stability, a general atmosphere opposed to immigration; there is a majority demanding the defence of Christian culture, which states that instead of bringing problems here, we should take help to where the problems are. Hungary lies on the route of the Muslim immigration invasion; it must defend itself, and here in Hungary everyone knows that. The starting-point for Hungarian policy is that we Christians have the right to defend our culture and the way of life that has grown from it, and that we are free to do this. In Hungary there is also general agreement that assistance must be taken directly to communities in distress: not provided to agencies, but directly to communities in distress. Therefore we make contact with church leaders there, because we know that they take full responsibility for their communities, and we know that they persevere in the most appalling circumstances. And unlike politicians in many European countries, we believe that people must be encouraged to live and flourish in the lands in which their ancestors have lived for centuries. What we must help them to do is not to move away, but to stay in their homes. Therefore, through the “Hungary Helps” programme we’re financing the rebuilding of many schools, hospitals and homes in Iraq and Syria – in places where perhaps people had not even known of the existence of Hungary. We’re also helping many persecuted young Christians from the Middle East and Africa to study at universities in Hungary: young people who – due to their faith – could perhaps never gain admission to such institutions in their own countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Eminence, Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Finally, on hearing about the persecution of Christians, the greatest mistake Europeans can ever make is to say that this could never happen to them in their own country. Many people share this delusion, even though Europe has been repeatedly struck by the terrorism. We also know that the western countries of Europe have provided the Islamic State with many soldiers who were born and went to school here in the West. We also knows that illegal and uncontrolled migration flows have resulted in the arrival in Europe of masses of adherents of radical Islam. Demographic forecasts also indicate that in the not too distant future there will be European countries undergoing rapid change in the religious and cultural composition of their populations. Everything that has happened in Syria and Iraq – or what is happening in Nigeria today – is much closer to us than many people think. We believe that the only thing that can save Europe from this is for it to find its way back to the source of its true values: to Christian identity. To put it briefly, Dear Brothers and Sisters, we Europeans are also in great trouble. I am convinced that today the greatest help in saving Europe can be provided by precisely those people whom we are helping right now. The resistance of those who suffer is the sowing of seed. Today we are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, schools. And in return we are being given what Europe most needs: Christian faith, love and perseverance. In this spirit I wish you a valuable conference.
Soli Deo gloria!
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