Persecuted Christians need direct government support from Europe's leading countries!
This week's International Consultation on Christian Persecution in Budapest heard from both persecuted Christians and government ministers.
The backdrop to this conference, of course, is the war on, and persecution of, Christians and other minorities which continues to affect the Middle East and Africa, and which has precipitated the ongoing migration crisis in Europe.
Even calling the conference the "International Consultation on Christian Persecution", was a bold step in the right direction - calling attention to the fact that we, in Europe, should be reminded that it is our Christian brothers and sisters who face the most persecution of any religious group.
In fact, right now, Christians are the most persecuted people in the world, with 4 out of 5 persecuted people identifying as Christians, and amounting to over 200M people world-wide...many of whom are in the Middle East or Africa.
And so, the International Consultation on Christian Persecution focused its energy on identifying sustainable, long-term solutions to the crisis of "persecuted Christians", emphasising local solutions to local problems - where aid is directed to the particular crises hot-spots, rather than accepting migration as a sustainable solution (both for the émigrés, and for the host countries).
The leaders of persecuted Christian communities, attend the conference, gave a clear message: "Help us help ourselves, so that we can stay in our homeland!" And, in fact, they told the conference that they need help delivered locally, so as to enable them to remain where they are.
And, the government ministers also gave a clear message: "The Hungarian model - taking help directly to the crisis areas - works in the short-term, and also provides sustainable solutions for the future."
To that end, the Hungarian Government established the post of the Deputy State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians in 2016, specifically in order to provide humanitarian aid in regions of crisis.
So far, their 'Hungary Helps Initiative' has donated over €2M to different projects bringing help directly to the people in need - where they are - in the Middle East and Africa.
Using the Christian churches as the main conduit to deliver aid, Hungary Helps has, among other achievements, already helped to: resettle 200+ families in Telsquf, Iraq; build a new Catholic school in Erbil; and, renovate 32 Christian churches in Lebanon.
Additionally, 'Hungary Helps' has provided funding for humanitarian aid, covering $552K of hospital costs for the St Joseph's Hospital in Erbil.
These are simple examples, but, because the Hungarian Government has strictly adhered to the principle of subsidiarity in this case, it means that more and more persecuted people can stay in their homeland.
And now, the proposed Budapest Declaration, 2017 - coming from the work of the International Consultation - which will soon be put to the Hungarian Parliament for approval, encourages other world governments and NGOs, to: "seek long-term solutions aimed a putting an end to the persecution of Christians, so as to ensure that the exercise of all human rights, including the free exercise of religion, are respected."
This sustainable model, unlike the "open-borders" immigration policy of some member states of the EU, will enable governments, which truly wish to help those who need it, to do it without compromising their own cultural heritage and safety at home.
As Viktor Orban stated: "Help must be taken to where the trouble is, rather than bringing the trouble under our roof."
For these reasons, this petition asks all EU member state governments to create their own similar models of humanitarian assistance, which give help directly to persecuted Christians and vulnerable minorities of the Middle East and Africa, in a way which best suits their immediate needs.
Thank you for signing this urgent petition!
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