EUROPE/HUNGARY - Delegation of religious leaders address new EU President: Urgent commitment needed to defeat Christian persecution around the world

Friday, 21 January 2011

Budapest (Agenzia Fides) – “We urge a greater commitment by Europe against the persecution of Christians around the world”: leaders of Christian churches in Europe appealed to the President of the European Union, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who received a delegation of representatives of religious communities in Budapest. This was communicated in a letter sent to Fides by the Commission of Episcopal Conferences of the European Community (COMECE). The Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Cardinal Peter Erdö, was head of the delegation with representatives from the Catholic Church, and from the Orthodox and Protestant churches in Hungary. Also present were representatives of the Jewish Hungarian community.
Among the specific issues brought to the attention of the new President of the EU were points of family policy, the situation of gypsy communities in Europe and the need for greater commitment to religious freedom in the world.
The Hungarian Prime Minister positively welcomed the active collaboration of the Churches during his presidential mandate at the EU. In expectation of future debates in the European Parliament and in the European Council for Foreign Relations, the President assured his commitment to effective action by Europe against Christian persecution and the increasing attacks on Christian communities around the world. Orbán asked the Churches to continue performing their important role of “bridge builders”, being present at local, regional and national levels, faithful to the role of representing “the voice of the people” to institutions.
The recent meeting represents the beginning of dialogue between the Churches and the Hungarian President of the European Union. The Churches presented their program to accompany the Presidency for the first six months of 2011. (MS) (Agenzia Fides, 21/11/2011)