A growing number of western European Christians will also settle in Hungary in the coming decades, predicted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday during the first autumn session of parliament.
“During our lifetime, a great many Christians will come to Hungary from Western Europe,” Orbán said.
During the session, Orbán said it is also an encouraging sign for the country that many Hungarian expats are coming back from Western Europe and many Western European Christians are also already choosing the country as their residence, according to Hungarian news portal Origo.
“Yes, I think the tendency that many are coming back from Western Europe will continue,” Orbán said during a Q&A session. “Some are buying up smaller settlements wholesale and we must be prepared for that.”
Orbán’s government has made the topic of Christian persecution an issue in the past and even holds an annual Conference on Christian Persecution in Budapest. Last year, Orbán touted his government’s protection of Christians, pointing out that his country’s constitution actually explicitly offers such protections.
“Hungarians believe Christian values lead to peace and happiness and that is why our Constitution states that protection of Christianity is an obligation for the Hungarian state,” he said.
“It obligates us to protect Christian communities throughout the world suffering persecution.”
He has pointed to the lack of resolve from other European leaders, who he says do not do enough to protect Christians, which currently stands as most persecuted religious group in the world.
“A mysterious force shuts the mouths of European politicians and cripples their arms,” he said. “Christians are not allowed to be mentioned on their own, only together with other groups that are being persecuted for their faiths.”
Hungary has instituted programs to help Christians persecuted around the globe, known as the Hungary Helps program, which donated €30,000 to help rebuild churches destroyed in Greece this year.
Although Christians face far higher levels of persecutions on other continents, attacks on Christians also reached an all-time high last year, and many
Answering a string of questions from opposition MPs, mostly Socialists, Orbán also spoke about the recent epidemiological and economic measures of the government at a time when Hungary is fighting the second, much more severe coronavirus wave.
Regarding opposition demands for cost-free coronavirus testing, Orbán said that the country was following the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), according to which tests ordered by doctors or authorities are free. He also encouraged that Hungarians should also voluntarily have themselves tested if they fell the need, pointing out that among the recent measures announced last Friday, the price of coronavirus tests will be capped at 19,500 forints (€54).
He said that the results of a recent national consultation showed unequivocally that the majority of Hungarians want to keep the economy running even as infection numbers are on the rise.
“People don’t want us to halt the economy,” Orbán said, while in answering another question he added that “there is no need for a budget amendment”.
On Sept. 19, Orbán announced that the moratorium on loan repayments for households and companies will be extended until the middle of 2021.
According to the latest official data, Hungary has 13,783 active coronavirus cases, 5,564 of which are in Budapest.
“Healthcare mathematics indicate that the peak could be 200,000 cases, but it is good that we should be prepared for twice that,” Orbán said.