Hungary’s government is donating $525,000 (145 million forints) to
Saint Joseph’s Clinic in Erbil, Iraq, which provides services for mainly
Christian refugees living in the city.
An agreement on the donation, meant to cover the clinic’s medical
supplies for six months, was signed Monday by Hungarian Minister of
Human Resources Zoltan Balog and Archbishop Bashar Warda, a Chaldean
Catholic cleric in Erbil.
Warda said his archdiocese received 13,200 Christian families in
August 2014 after they fled Mosul when the Islamic State group took
control of the Iraqi city.
“Some families will not be able to go back, because their houses have been destroyed completely or burned,” Warda told The Associated Press. “They need some time before making their way back to these villages.”
Warda, who will meet Tuesday with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said
the donation “will be a big help” for the clinic, which provides free
medicines to 3,100 people with chronic diseases.
The treatment of Christians in the Middle East was akin to “genocide,
cleansing on a religious basis,” Balog said at the signing ceremony.
“The Christian quarter (of Erbil) practically turned into a refugee
While Orban views the large number of Muslim migrants reaching Europe
as a threat to the continent’s Christian values and culture, last year
the government set up a deputy secretariat within Balog’s ministry to
help persecuted Christians, especially in the Middle East.
In February, the agency said it gave $1.1 million each to Syria’s
Orthodox and Catholic churches to assist the return of refugees to their