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Hungary Wishes to Preserve Its Culture

PM rejects large-scale Islamic migration.

Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, and his Fidesz party have recently been re-elected. Fidesz now holds 133 out of the 199 seats in parliament. PM Orban has said, at a recent press conference: "The main task of the new government will be to preserve Hungary's security and Christian culture," and he has also spoken of building a "Christian democracy." 

In my opinion, nation states have much going for them. They tend to be of a reasonable size, not too large and not too small. They are held together by language, culture, and a shared loyalty to the country. However, in the highly inter-connected C21st world in which we live, very much cooperation between nations is absolutely vital on environmental, economic, health, security, and a myriad of other matters. At present, the European Union is in severe crisis. Whilst some support a centralised, federal Europe, others do not. Currently, the tide is running against the federalists. While countries such as Germany and Italy did not exist in anything like their present form before 1870, Hungary has been a nation, in terms of being a cohesive group of people sharing a linguistic and cultural heritage, for more than 1,000 years. Perhaps they can teach us something!

Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest

In 1918, the Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed, and in the century since then we have seen the end of the British, French, and Russian empires (supra-national states), as well as the fall of The Third Reich. Maybe the European Union is some sort of "via media" between nation states and empires. If this is so, I think it needs to allow as much freedom as possible to its constituent nations. 

Britain, France, and Germany have never been under Islamic rule, but Hungary has—in fact, for more than 150 years in the C16th and C17th. From the time of the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 until the 1680s, when the Holy League reconquered Vienna and took back Buda and Pest, part or all of the Kingdom of Hungary was under Ottoman rule. 

Whilst most Muslims in Europe are peaceable, a significant minority are not. The British intelligence services have said publicly that they are concerned about more than 20,000 people with alleged violent jihadist sympathies in the UK. There are Muslims in Hungary, a few thousand, and Mr. Orban has said that his government will not allow significant Muslim immigration. Leaving jihadism to one side, Hungary has a population of only 8 million, and a substantial Islamic influx of people loyal to Middle Eastern or African versions of Islam, bringing with them practices such as FGM and honor killing, who would probably not learn to speak Hungarian, or integrate into society—all this could easily destabilise Hungarian society. With regard to Mr. Orban's words about protecting the security of his people, he is surely correct in thinking that his immigration policy will greatly reduce the risks of Islamic terrorism on Hungarian soil.

However, and speaking as a Christian, I fail to comprehend what Mr. Orban means by Christian democracy. Surely, democracy is democracy. Across Europe, the Christian religion has been moved to the margins of society and to the fringes of public life, and, even in Hungary, it is estimated that only 12 percent of the population is church-going. I feel strongly that it is for the Christian Church to seek to deepen its faith and to offer its vision to the world. In commanding us to "Resist not evil," Jesus Christ is telling us not to put our energy into fighting darkness, evil, or negativity, but to be entirely positive, focused entirely upon loving and serving God and living under His Kingly Rule. If Mr. Orban is talking about supporting the many good aspects of the Christian culture built up over a millennium, I would certainly agree with that!

The long Turkish occupation of Hungary had a major impact on the country's ethnic composition. The depopulated Hungarian villages were often resettled by other ethnic groups which threatened to overwhelm the ethnic Hungarians. This is something which Mr. Orban's government is not going to allow to happen again.

I am fully in support of the current Hungarian government. It is right to uphold its nation's culture, language, traditions, and freedoms. For decades, Hungary was under the domination of cruel Nazi and Soviet regimes, and I for one rejoice that it is now free and is showing the nations of Europe the best way forward.  

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