The 2nd Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom was for a broad range of stake-holders including foreign government offi¬cials, international organizations, religious leaders and social activists who address the challenges facing religious freedom as well as recommended best practices to advance religious freedom for all.
The Hungary Helps Program was repre¬sented by State Secretary Tristan Azbej along with two SCYP Scholarship Hold¬ers. Sharing the personal stories of the students from Iraq and Nigeria could raise the attention to the recent vulnerable situ¬ation of the Christian communities.
Patience Patrick (Nigeria)
Being invited to the Ministerial Con¬ference on religious freedom in Wash¬ington D.C. came to me as a surprise. Since I was a kid I always wanted to go to the U.S., so for me a dream come true. At this event I felt so honored to have been given this opportunity to speak to and listen to the great minds who gath¬ered from all around the world. Getting to know how these people are trying to de¬velop the way to reduce the problem of religious persecution and also how they are trying to diverse means to educate people on the need for religious free¬dom, sent so much warmth to my heart. Even though I was terrified of speaking in front of people, it gave me strength to tell my story.
Being at the side event organized by the Hungarian Embassy I felt like being home. In fact as soon as I stepped into the venue I told myself ‘this feels like home’. I heard more specific stories and happenings about Christian persecution from other parts of the world and it’s alarming. However, knowing that some countries (especially the Hungarian Government) are reaching out to help and also thinking of more effective ways and initiatives to deal with this big issue is comforting and I hope these help to make our world a better place.
At this event I felt so proud to identify with the Hungarian Government and its peo-ple. I was also able to visit some really historic and popular places like the White House, Capitol Hill, the Washington Mon¬ument, and also the Lincoln Memorial. I had a great time at the NASA exhibit, moreover I had the best travel buddies. I had a great time in Washington D.C. with them. This visit is one I will never forget at all. Thank you Hungary Helps. Thank you Hungary for this great opportunity.
Nawar Sheer (Iraq)
This is not the first time when the Schol¬arship Programme for Christian Young People surprises us and take us beyond our expectations. The first time was when we went to Rome and met Pope Francis. The second time was the Wash¬ington D.C. trip, where we were invited to share our testimonies in two events. The first one was International Religious Freedom Roundtable side event, the second one was a Workshop on Chris¬tian Persecution which was held at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington D.C.
Thanks to the Hungary Helps Program we had the chance to deliver our peo¬ple’s suffering. The Hungary Helps Program has proved once again how effective is in helping the persecuted Christians, it brought the world’s atten¬tion to us. Although it was a short trip, we managed to visit and discover the sights of the city. In our last day we were lucky enough to come across the 50th anniversary of Apollo, where there was a huge exhibition about Nasa’s technolo¬gies. It was an unforgettable trip, we are in deep gratitude to get such a chance.