“Migration is not a solution to the worlds’ great problems”, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog said prior to the lecture by Bishop of Maiduguri Oliver Dashe Doeme at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest.

In his welcome speech, the Minister said: “Helping on site is the solution, not migration”, adding “But this doesn’t mean we cannot mutually accept each other”.

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According to Mr. Balog, this is why the Government has invited “young Christians with a will to study” to Hungary within the framework of a scholarship programme. “More than four hundred people applied for the programme within just a few weeks, and one hundred of them will be begin their studies in September”, he added.

The Minister explained that Hungarian Churches had undertaken the patronage of these students, and local Churches had assisted the government in selecting those who are being awarded scholarships, in view of the fact that “it was important that these young people should truly come from persecuted Christian communities so they can reinforce these communities when they return home after completing their studies”.

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Mr. Balog said that another 150 scholarship places would hopefully be available to students next year. The Minister pointed out that this particular programme is specifically for young Christians, but that the Government’s Stipendium Hungaricum programme is enabling over three thousand young people from primarily South America, Asia and Africa to study in Hungary, roughly half of whom are Muslims.

“We would like people who study in Hungary to become Hungary’s friends, and for them not only to use the knowledge they have acquired in Hungary to help as doctors, engineers and IT professionals once they return home, but also to nurture and continue to expand the network of relationships they successfully built while in Hungary”, the Minister said.

In his speech, Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme highlighted: “One of Nigeria’s greatest enemies in its fight against Boko Haram is corruption”. “The terrorist organisation could have been defeated long ago if there weren’t politicians and leaders who profit from their activities”, he explained.

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“Financial assistance arriving from abroad often doesn’t reach those who are most in need because of the corruptness of the country’s leaders”, he emphasised, and accordingly asked that aid and donations be sent to Nigeria via the Church, because it is they who are in close contact with the people during the course of their work.

He recalled that he was appointed Bishop of Maiduguri exactly eight years ago, when Boko Haram was beginning its activities. The terrorist organisation was strongest in 2014, when they forced 150 thousand people to leave their homes in north-eastern Nigeria. The Bishop also explained that the “method” used by the terrorist organisation was to kill all the men and then kidnap the women and force them to take up the Islamic faith.

Special Envoy for the promotion of the freedom of religion or belief outside the EU Ján Figel' spoke about the fact that religious freedom is the litmus paper of all human rights, because when it is removed all other human rights also suffer.

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“There is no religious freedom in forty percent of the world’s countries, and the people living in these countries make up 75 percent of the world’s population, meaning three quarters of humanity cannot practice their religion freely”, pointed out.

Christian Church leaders are holding lectures within the framework of the series of programs jointly organised by the Pázmány Péter Catholic University and the Deputy State Secretariat for Assisting Persecuted Christians; Bishop of Maiduguri Oliver Dashe Doeme was the seventh guest lecturer in the series.

(Ministry of Human Capacities/MTI)