The Government of Hungary is supporting the Open Hospitals Syrian humanitarian initiative because it agrees that communities and families in need should be assisted in the vicinity of their homeland, and with enabling these communities to remain in place and assisting those who have fled to return home.

The precedent to the government decision is that Minister of State for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and the realisation of the Hungary Helps Programme Azbej Tristan, from the Prime Minister’s Office, and Ambassador of the Holy See to Hungary Edward Habsburg previously met with Giampaolo Silvestri, Secretary General of AVSI, a Catholic foundation that is one of Italy’s largest aid organisations, who briefed them on the details of the Open Hospitals project. Mr. Azbej said that the Open Hospitals initiative corresponds with the goals of the support being provided by the Hungarian Government with relation to both preventing migration and assisting persecuted Christians. The goal of the Open Hospitals project, which has now been adopted by the Government, is to provide medical care to the victims of war and people who have found themselves with no assistance as a result of the destruction.

The Hungarian Government is funding several programmes in war-torn Syria within the framework of the Hungary Helps Programme: the Syrian healthcare programme being run by the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service, in addition to which it is offering scholarship places to enable Syrian students to attend university in Hungary via the Stipendium Hungaricum Programme. It has funded projects launched by the Greek Catholic Archdiocese of Aleppo, aimed at enabling refugee Christian communities to remain in the region, thanks to which hundreds of families have been able to return to their homes. In addition, funding has also been given to the Syrian Catholic Patriarchate, the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch towards its humanitarian activities in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the Syria and Lebanon National Reformed Synod, and towards the realisation of projects aimed at enabling the population to return home and stay in place following the war launched by the Community of Syrian Armenian Reformed Churches.

Accordingly, the Hungarian Government is providing a high level of support to persecuted Christian communities, of whom many, during their visits to Hungary,  including Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo jean-Clement Jeanbart, Secretary General of the Syria and Lebanon National Reformed Synod Joseph Kassab, and President of the Community of Syrian Armenian Reformed Churches Haroutune Geroge Selimian, have asked Hungary to assist families who have suffered to a great extent in crisis areas to start life anew.

As is well known, according to Hungary’s position, assistance must be taken to where the trouble is instead of bringing the trouble here, and accordingly the Hungarian Government is also providing financial assistance to persecuted Christians to enable families that have been forced to flee to return to their homes. This is also the goal served by the fact that Hungary was the first country in the world to establish a State Secretariat for the aid of persecuted Christians.

(Prime Minister’s Office)