The construction of a new church is a proof of the faith in the future, cabinet minister Gergely Gulyás said at the inauguration of the new reformed church in Rakamaz in northern Hungary. Unlike Western Europe, Hungary has dedicated significant resources to build and renovate churches under Viktor Orbán’s government.
Gulyás warned that more than three decades after the fall of the communist dictatorships in Central Europe, materialism seems to be “victorious” in Western Europe, according to Hungarian news outlet Origo.
“Not only do politicians who otherwise classify themselves as Christian Democrats inaugurate the statue of Marx, but they consider everything that has defined European life for centuries to be outdated,” Gulyás said. The Hungarian cabinet minister was likely referring to the large statue of Karl Marx donated to the German city of Trier, which was celebrated by the city council head, Andreas Ludwig, who belongs to the Christian Democratic Union.
Gulyás added that if Europeans want to see what future awaits the countries that have left Christianity, it is enough to look at the churches of Western Europe:
“We see how they are being demolished to build coal mines, gas stations, shopping malls in their place. We see how they will become concert halls, hotels, fast food restaurants, or how they will be transferred to Muslims to call on the prayer of the muezzin to faith-preserving adherents of another religion where Christians once prayed,” Gulyás said.
While churches in the West have even been converted into strip clubs, Hungary has built or renovated over 3,000 churches in the last 10 years. As a part of Hungary’s efforts to protect the Christian faith in the country, educational institutions have become a focus for the current government.
“In order to defend our Christian identity, it is important that the state perform its duties, but we also must fill it with faith, in which Christian schools and the pupils there will form the next generation of intellectuals through a unity of knowledge and spirituality,” Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said last year in Mosonmagyaróvár at a Christian school associated with the Piarist order, a Roman Catholic order dedicated to education.
In France, Muslim leaders have openly called for converting churches into mosques, an idea the government said it was open to. A group of 150 Muslim leaders said that although France has 2,500 mosques and there were 300 under construction as of 2015, the country needed at least 5,000 for its fast-growing Muslim population, which is already the largest of any country in Europe.
Hungary is increasingly viewing events in Western Europe with concern. Gulyás also said one can now witness how Christianity disappears from public life and schools, in parallel with which understanding disappears, opinion dictatorship strengthens, and incompatible constraints such as making gender ideology mandatory — even against the will of parents — come to life.
“What we would have considered a bad joke as part of absurd humor up to twenty years ago is now not simply a reality, but a mandatory state ideology to be followed in the welfare states of Western Europe,” the minister stressed.
Gulyás said that in these times, faith is especially needed as a pledge of survival, but it is not necessary to “move the mountains,” but simply to “stack stones and bricks” and thus build a small community.