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NewsDiscrimination through indifference must end, says MEP Hölvényi

Discrimination through indifference must end, says MEP Hölvényi

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Persecuted christians - Conference at the European Parliament about the persecution of Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa (Credit: MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen)

Break the silence on persecuted Christians

MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen held a conference and exhibition at the European Parliament to denounce the silence surrounding the suffering of persecuted Christians worldwide. The EU must take stronger action against violations of freedom of religion, especially in Africa where lives are lost due to this silence.

MEP Hölvényi managed to bring to the plenary the atack against the St. Francis Catholic Church in Nigeria. A gunman had attacked worshippers in the Nigerian town of Owo during a mass on Pentecost Sunday.

“We must do a lot to ensure that the European Parliament is finally able to take effective action against the increasing persecution of Christians after that many years,” emphasised Christian Democrat MEP György Hölvényi (KDNP) during Wednesday’s plenary debate on the Pentecost attack in Nigeria.

“First of all, we must declare that the attack was directed against Christian believers,” said MEP György Hölvényi, reacting to the tragedy in the Nigerian town of Owo, where gunmen ruthlessly killed at least 50 people, including several children, during a Mass on Pentecost Sunday. 

Quoting Dr Réka Fodor, a Hungarian volunteer doctor working in Nigeria, the politician said that the Hospital in the local Catholic Archdiocese, the neighbouring federal state of Onitsha, had immediately offered fifty beds to treat the injured. Church institutions are also at the forefront of helping at a time when the social situation in Nigeria is deteriorating. The war in Ukraine has caused energy crisis and as a result, the gasoline prices doubled, and running basic health care has become a challenge. 

Although the Nigerian central government has pledged to curb the terror, it is not showing results. “Moreover, the attack took place in a previously peaceful part of the country, which indicates the deterioration of the security situation and undermines our achievements in development policy,” the MEP said.

“We must all work to ensure that the EP is able to take action against open persecution of Christians. We must end the passive discrimination caused by indifference. We have a responsibility to those who are suffering because they themselves are asking us to stand up for them,” he underlined, citing the Nigerian Catholic Council’s cry for help: “We want the leaders to take urgent action against the perpetrators of evil deeds.”

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