The Hungarian government has announced the creation of a new department to aid persecuted Christians. The department will initially focus on humanitarian work in the Middle East and has been given a starting budget of €3 million (around £2.5 million; US $3.3 million).
“[We] will do everything in our power to improve the circumstances of Christians living in the Middle Eastern region,” said Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources, whose ministry will oversee the new department.
The decision to create a department focused on alleviating the persecution of Christians was taken after Balog and the Hungarian Prime Minister met with Christian leaders from the Middle East in Rome in August.
Syrian and Iraqi Christians have persistently been singled out by ISIL, with Syrian Christians also targeted by so-called “moderate” rebel groups. However, the United States government and the UN have consistently discriminated against vulnerable Christian refugees, even though many fear they will now never be able to live safely in the towns they once called home.
Barnabas Fund’s “Operation Safe Havens” has already brought 601 Syrian and Iraqi Christian refugees to safety in the Czech Republic, Poland, Canada, Brazil and Australia, and more will follow in the coming weeks and months.
The Hungarian government’s initiative to raise awareness and help persecuted Christians, especially in Syria and Iraq, is warmly welcomed. However, many other Western governments continue only to pay lip service to the specific threat faced by Christians in the region.
- Give thanks for the Hungarian Government’s willingness to help Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq.
- Pray that many other western governments will follow the lead of Hungary, and actively seek to do much more to aid these refugees, who are often banished from official refugee camps because of persecution by extreme Muslims.
- Pray for many more Christians refugees to find places of safety to live, and for their faith to remain strong.
- Pray for those working with organisations such as Interserve and Barnabas Fund, seeking to provide help and relief to refugees. Pray for compassion, love and grace to flow, even in the midst of often very challenging working conditions.
- Pray that many refugees will come to know the healing restoring love and grace of Jesus Christ, and the hope that is found through Him for their future.
Proverbs 31 vs 8 – 9: “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.“