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.
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
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.
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
"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
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
Conservative groups in the U.S., such
as the American Center for Law and Justice, have also been pushing hard
for the Obama administration to do more to tackle Christian persecution
around the world, especially in the face of the genocide that Christians
and other religious minorities are suffering in the Middle East.
At the end of August the ACLJ filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration, urging American officials to do more to properly address the genocide.
"What efforts is the Obama administration making at the United Nations? How is it advancing the cause within the international community? What steps is it taking to
honor our international obligations and commitments under the Genocide
Convention?" the ACLJ asked at the time.
The law group has also written to U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, calling for a wider recognition of IS' ongoing genocide.
strongly and respectfully urge you to make this declaration and to
communicate with the interested and appropriate United Nations organs to
this end," the letter in May read.
"Once the United Nations
recognizes the genocide as such, then it may properly mobilize the
international community to honor the terms of the Genocide Convention
and fulfill its responsibility to protect."