A Hungarian official has welcomed Christian scholarship students from around the world to Budapest and stressed the importance of helping persecuted Christians.

Hungary wanted to support all communities in need worldwide, not only Christians, Tristan Azbej said in Budapest last Thursday, Hungary Today reported. However, Christians hold a special place in the hearts of Hungarians, he added.

Azbej is the Hungarian State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and is responsible for the Hungary Helps Agency.

“Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. More than 300 million Christians are persecuted and discriminated against because of their faith,” Azbej said on Oct. 20.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the annual scholarship program for Christian youth, Azbej recalled that his grandparents’ generation had lived through world wars, and his parents’ generation had lived through an anti-clerical, anti-religious, and anti-Christian communist dictatorship.

The Scholarship Programme for Christian Young People was founded in 2017 by the Hungarian government.

The Hungary Helps Agency has coordinated the scholarship program since August 2020.

According to the program website, almost 200 students are studying as part of the program. They come from Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Armenia. 

The scholarship holders can participate in a wide range of education programs taught in English, such as medical and health sciences, engineering, architecture, social science, economics, agriculture, arts and humanities, and information technology. The program offers approximately 300 courses at 14 universities in Hungary, covering all higher education fields at all degrees offered, from bachelor to doctoral level.

More in Europe

The program fully covers tuition, and the scholarship holders also receive support for travel and accommodation costs.

Hungary is not the only European county offering scholarships to young Christians at risk of persecution. Croatia’s government announced in April 2021 a scholarship program for Christian students from developing countries.