By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife) – Hungary’s rightwing government has condemned the West for allegedly playing down the persecution of Christians after Islamists in Africa killed and injured dozens of believers on Sunday, including a priest.
Tristan Azbej, state secretary at Hungary’s foreign ministry, said politicians in the West “must stop their denial.”
He added that “a dozen Christians a day are not murdered because of climate change or local clashes, but because of their religion.
Azbej, who leads the world’s first government department dedicated to persecuted Christians, spoke as news emerged that suspected Islamist terrorists attacked a Catholic parish in Nigeria and burnt to death the local priest there.
Priest Isaac Achi was burned alive over the weekend in the Nigerian town of Kafin-Koro, while his assistant was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds, church sources said.
Azbej stressed that “condolences were not enough” and that the “international community should take proactive steps.”
He explained that the government’s Hungary Helps program assists “Christians in Africa subject to terrorist attacks.”
In recent years the Hungarian government also supported internal refugees in cooperation with the Catholic and Protestant churches of Nigeria, the state secretary recalled.
He said they provide “health care services to the victims of terrorist attacks, contributions to the reconstruction of ruined churches, schools, and homes, as well as scholarships to Christian youth.”
Azbej also expressed his sympathy to the families of victims that died in a blast that shook a Sunday service of a Pentecostal church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombing at the 8th Community of Pentecostal Churches in the eastern Congolese town of Kasindi, which killed at least 10 people and wounded 39 others. Other sources said the death toll could be as high as 16 or 17.
Congolese military spokesman Antony Mualushayi told media that a Kenyan was arrested following the bomb blast that he described as a “terrorist act.”
Hungary’s government, known for its anti-migration policies, has been reluctant to take in refugees from these and other conflict zones.
Budapest says it wants first to help persecuted Christians in the regions where they live or nearby countries. Yet, Worthy News learned that Hungary accepted some Christian refugees or enabled them to find shelter elsewhere.