A new government office aimed at helping the millions of Christians around the world who face persecution has been established in Hungary.
“Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed out of religious reasons, four of them are Christians,” Zoltan Balog, the Hungarian Minister for Human Capacities, told Catholic News Agency about the 10 person office within the department.
“In 81 countries around the world Christians are persecuted and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against. Millions of Christian lives are threatened by followers of radical religious ideologies.”
Christian persecution has risen in recent years with the growth of terror groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and many other extremist factions.
Balog explained that the office has deemed it of “utmost importance” to help persecuted Christians, which will involve coordinating humanitarian action. The office will also monitor how Christianity is treated in Europe.
“Our interest not only lies in the Middle East but in forms of discrimination and persecution of Christians all over the world,” he said. “It is therefore to be expected that we will keep a vigilant eye on the more subtle forms of persecutions within European borders.”
The report noted that the new department, which is estimated to have a 3 million euro budget, is the first of its kind in any country to deal directly with the persecution of Christians. Tamás Török, the former Hungarian deputy ambassador to Italy, has been appointed to oversee the office