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Pavel Svoboda: Let’s support both the persecuted Christians and us

Added 12/6/2018
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Numbers of persecuted Christians in the world are clear. Even according to the most moderate non-governmental organization Open Doors, 215 million Christians in the world are persecuted. Four out of five people persecuted for religion reasons are Christians. According to this organisation, demonstrably about 3,000 Christians per year are murdered, other sources estimate the real number at almost 100,000 murders per year. Therefore, it is by far the largest genocide in the world, but Europe - considering itself to be a bastion of human rights - is hypocritically silent. Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó has accepted my invitation to a conference on the persecution of Christians, among other things, to present a government program “Hungary helps” for supporting Christians. We state that in the face of Islamic expansion to Europe, we want to preserve the European way of life and we want to address the migration problem at the source. If we really mean it, then we can best do it via the help to the persecuted Christians in the countries where the migration tracks start. 

It is as logical as stating that one plus one equals two. The European way of life is - whether we like it or not - based on Christian values: from here comes the respect to the individual, the basis of Western civilization. We also state that we want to address the migration problem at the source. We cannot help everyone and therefore, logically we should help the ambassadors of European values - Christians in these source countries. These are Europe’s allies in these less fortunate parts of the world.

Enforcing religious neutrality is deadly for Europe. It is clear. The most effective way to help persecuted Christians in countries where migration tracks start, would be for example joining the Hungarian program “Hungary helps” and make it “V4 helps”. But as Islamic fundamentalists are strong in the Muslim world, there are strong secular fundamentalists in Europe. Although globally, they are not strong (only 16% of the world’s population are atheists, and the fundamentalists represent only a small part of them), but their imposition of religious neutrality in the public space, the promotion of atheism, is geopolitically deadly for Europe: a number of Muslim states actively promotes Islam in Europe, but Europe does not want to support Christianity not even at home, let alone in the world. Then, just a stupid person may wonder why Islam is growing in Europe too, with its negative effects. By abandoning its identification with Christian values, Europe is weakening: we do not know where we belong, why empty a certain spiritual space, there is no saturation of the needs of the soul. If this space is abandoned, it is not defended, and it is free for an offer that Islam comes with. It follows that - regardless of personal belief - if we want to defend Europe against Islam, we should not do it via its criticism but via the fulfilment of the empty space by the Christianity that is at home in Europe. Many people will certainly argue that they do not have soul, but that is for another debate.

It is now important whether the secularist hatred of Christianity will dash what is logical and reasonable - supporting the Christians in the source countries and, by this mitigating the world largest genocide. Otherwise, we can hardly claim that we are strong supporters of human rights and that we want to preserve the European way of life, because this way of life simply cannot exist without human rights derived from Christianity. Let’s support the persecuted Christians in the world, we will help ourselves too.

About the Author | PAVEL SVOBODA, MEP for KDU-ČSL/ELS Author is Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Parliament 

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