Hungary Soccer Club And Government Support Persecuted Christians

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News reporting from Budapest

(Worthy News) - Hungary's leading soccer club Ferencváros (FTC) and the conservative government have agreed to support persecuted Christians worldwide.

Under the accord, FTC will provide soccer training in Hungary to the Scholarship Program participants for Christian Young People (SCYP), officials said.

Soccer training sessions will be "strictly observing coronavirus protection rules," the prime minister's office explained.

The 121-year-old FTC also delivers sports equipment to youth in areas
where Christians face persecution, the government added in a statement.

The Budapest-based club inked the accord with the prime minister's State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians.


Hungary's government says it gave aid to around "100,000 people in crisis zones over the past four years" through its Hungary Helps Program.

However, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
has been reluctant to take in Christian refugees, citing the need to support Christians at home in difficult areas.

But his administration did accept almost 200 Christian students, many of whom face persecution in their home countries. Many may soon get soccer training from FTC.

The students already received the state-funded scholarship and support for traveling and accommodation under the 'SCYP scheme,' officials said.

Students arrived from troubled Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia.


It was unclear how many of them will attend FTC training sessions. The students now in Hungary mainly participate in studies taught in English such as medical and health sciences, engineering, architecture, and social science.

Other studies include economics, agriculture, arts and humanities, and information technology.

The program offers some 300 courses at 14 universities in Hungary, covering all higher education fields, from bachelor to doctoral levels.

"I can help my community overcome the obstacles they face," said student Hala Roumia from Syria. "We are surrounded by friendly Hungarian people, which gave me power and love," she added at a recent farewell lunch for graduates."

"This master's program will help me to help reconstruct my war-damaged country, "added Syrian Areen Nassar. "This is not only a grant but a duty to convey this knowledge when I come back home."


That was music to the ears of Tristan Azbej, Hungary's state secretary for assisting persecuted Christians. "You managed what you came for. And I am sure that with God's blessing, you will be returning to your community," he said at a recent farewell lunch in Budapest. "You are not just building a career; you will lead your communities."

However, authorities said they had delayed the academic program for 2020-2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That could come as a setback for Christian students from, for instance, Nigeria, where Muslim extremists killed many Christians. "Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to improve myself," said Nigerian student Nanle Joseph. "It is a great privilege for me to be a scholar. Not only a scholar but to be a provider of help given to others."

Nadar Sheer from Iraq noted that Christians in his volatile nation are in "deep gratitude" to Hungary. "You did not forget your brothers when nobody paid attention."

They are among many suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ, according to Hungarian government figures. Azbej said some 3,000 Christians are killed annually. "Christianity is currently the most persecuted religion in the world," the state secretary stressed.