Hungarian President Janos Ader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto expressed condolences over the attacks in Sri Lanka, where 200 people were killed and 450 injured in the Easter Sunday blasts that hit four hotels and three churches.
“I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the brutal acts of terror carried out in four of Sri Lanka’s cities that tragically claimed the lives of so many peaceful people,” Janos Ader wrote in a letter to his Sri Lankan counterpart Maithripala Sirisena. The citizens of Hungary stand with the people of Sri Lanka “in these difficult hours of mourning”, Ader wrote. The president expressed Hungary’s commitment to the global fight against terrorism and religious extremism.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban also expressed his condolences to his Sri Lankan counterpart, Ranil Wickremesinghe, stressing that Hungary remains a committed partner in the global fight against terrorism and religious extremism. Orban said he was “shocked and deeply saddened” to hear about the attacks. On behalf of the Hungarian people, Orban extended his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the hundreds of people injured in “these vile attacks”.
Speaking to public current affairs channel M1, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said the attacks had “proven once again” that terrorists were deliberately targeting worshippers, and specifically Christians.“This time, the terrorists attacked believers during prayer service, which is an extremely ruthless act,” Peter Szijjarto said. He expressed condolences to the families of the victims.
Hungary’s foreign ministry has opened an emergency phone line for any Hungarians who may have been affected by the attack, Szijjarto said. The ministry knows of seven Hungarian citizens who have registered for consular protection in Sri Lanka, none of whom were injured in the blasts, he added. The foreign ministry has also condemned the attacks.“Multiple blasts specifically targeted the Christian community’s Easter church celebrations,” the ministry said in a statement, calling the attacks “an indescribably heinous act”.
Persecution of Christians claims more than 4,000 victims a year
Tristan Azbej, the state secretary in charge of helping persecuted Christians, said it was “unacceptable” that while Christians are the world’s most persecuted religious group and their persecution claims more than 4,000 victims a year, “international organisations and civil law forums conspiratorially keep quiet about this”.”We have no idea what wounds this heinous act caused … in the soul of the 1.5-million-strong Christian community of Sri Lanka,” Azbej said, expressing his sympathy to the families of the victims and to the injured.
He noted that Viktor Orban’s government was the first in 2016 to launch a programme aimed at helping Christians facing persecution across the world, adding that the state secretariat for helping persecuted Christians and implementing the Hungary Helps Programme was exploring the possibilities of providing assistance to Christians in Sri Lanka.
Photo: The Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka