After Washington DC, New York, Rome, Munich, Vienna, Budapest and several Hungarian cities, London is hosting the Cross in Fire exhibition, which presents contemporary documents of Christian solidarity, relief and compassion.
On the evening of 30 October, State Secretary Tristan Azbej officially opened the exhibition in London, which will be hosted by the Liszt Institute until 17 November.
The Secretary of State said: „This exhibition is more than what it appears to be; it is an awareness-raiser and a testimony, because its uniqueness, seriousness and diversity draw attention to a reality that is being left behind in our fast-paced world. It points to a reality of our times where many are persecuted for their faith and religion. And while every human being deserves attention and protection, part of this hidden reality is that Christians are persecuted for their faith in the largest numbers in the world.
It is a testimony not only of the discrimination, humiliation and suffering of 300 million people, but also of the glory of the victims, of their faith and self-identity in the face of all threats, from which we Westerners can only draw inspiration and strength. It is about the churches in Africa and Asia, where the Sunday after the terrorist massacre in the church is still full of people who have confessed their faith. This is an important message for Western people who are turning against the foundations of their own civilisation and giving themselves up.
It is also a witness of hope. Hope that we have tools in our hands, tools of solidarity in our hands that can save human lives. It has the tools to reverse history and save communities doomed to extinction.
This is what the Government of Hungary did when it became the first government in the world to launch a programme to help persecuted Christians and other suffering religious communities. Thus, the Hungary Helps Programme, launched in 2017, provides effective support in crisis zones and in situations of man-made or natural disasters. Our faith-based initiatives have reached around one and a half million people in need.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, former Minister Judit Varga said: „We Hungarians believe that every Christian community, organised around a church, is an island of survival and a burning torch of hope in the world.
Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Iraq, spoke and thanked the Hungarian people for their compassion.
Last but not least, Judit Hammerstein, Deputy Director General of the Hungarian National Museum, said that this exhibition is a humanitarian gesture of conscientious solidarity and empathy. The Hungarian National Museum is a custodian of both Hungarian and Christian culture and is committed to analysing and sensitively presenting the issues.