As part of the Hungary Helps Programme, the Government of Hungary is contributing HUF 10 million (€30,000) to the refurbishment of churches vandalized by illegal immigrants on the Greek island of Lesbos, the government has announced.
This year, migrants on the island have attacked several sacred places, and reportedly use such attacks as a violent form of protest against the fact that the Greek authorities are preventing their illegal migration towards Western Europe. In consequence of acts of vandalism, several liturgical objects and the furnishings of churches have been seriously damaged.
Near the town of Moria on Lesbos, the Hagis Georgios church was attacked in March and then in April, the church of Saint Raphael was also attacked by migrants. The damage included smashed doors and further destruction inside the church.
These were not the first attacks on churches in Greece either, with the Hagios Haralambos church on Chios also damaged by migrants who set the church’s altar on fire and destroyed the inside the of church.
The self-government of the ethnic Greek minority in Hungary contacted the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office asking for assistance, in response to which the government decided to grant financial aid towards the refurbishment of the places of worship.
“We hold that help must be taken where there is trouble rather than bringing trouble here,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
In a tweet, Minister of State for Helping Persecuted Christians and the Implementation of the Hungary Helps Programme Tristan Azbej posted two images of the vandalized churches and wrote “I hope our messages about protecting Christian heritage & about illegal migration get through.”
Lesbos hosts 25,000 migrants and the migrant camps are dangerously overcrowded. Residents have routinely protested against the constant stream of migrants arriving on their island for years.
The ethnic Greek minority arrived to Hungary in two waves: the first one consisted mostly of subjects of the Ottoman Empire after the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz which marked the end of Turkish occupation of Central Europe, while the second wave arrived during the 1946-1949 Greek civil war. While many of those from the second wave returned home after the conflict ended, some remained in Hungary and took up Hungarian citizenship.
As previously reported by Remix News, attacks against Christians in Europe reached an all-time high last year, with desecration of churches, often committed by migrants, happening across the continent.
Title image: Church vandalized by migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos. (source: Twitter)