Jared Kushner, Erdogan and Hungary’s dubious program for persecuted Christians

On July 27 Deputy State Secretary Tristan Azbej tweeted his smiling photo with Jared Kushner. “Privilege to meet @jaredkushner, advisor (& son-in-law) to @realDonaldTrump and to receive acknowledgment for our program dedicated to aid the persecuted Christian communities. Mr. Kushner was supportive of the idea of joint US-Hungarian humanitarian action. #IRFMinisterial”

Joint US-Hungarian humanitarian action? The White House has not one word about this action. Nevertheless Hungarian-language media has widely reported the Kushner-Azbej meeting. (Read here-1 or here-2 or here-3.)

Hungary’s Mr. Tristan Azbej (left) claims that he discussed a “joint US-Hungarian humanitarian action” with Jared Kushner. The White House didn’t confirm.

Last year Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén declared that Hungary would lead the fight to protect persecuted Christians: “It is a natural obligation of Hungary as a State that has a Christian identity as well as Christian ties in its history, culture and traditions.”

Mr. Semjén emphasized that what is happening in the European Union today is a “light” version of the persecution of Christians but not without endangering the “Christian European identity.” He claims that the EU refuses to deal this persecution despite the obvious facts, and rather talk about human rights or religious grievances instead. Hungary will follow a different path. The Orbán government has established a Deputy State Secretariat for helping persecuted Christians and the office is led by a young, ambitious US-trained geologist, Tristan Azbej.

When Mr Semjén was asked about Turkey where President Tayyip Erdogan is fanning anti-Christian sentiments, he said that a “certain degree” of Islamization can be observed there “but one cannot draw a parallel” between Erdogan and other Islamic leaders. He assured the press that Hungarian relations with Turkey and Mr. Erdogan are outstanding.

Mr. Orbán and Mr. Erdogan – mutual admiration.

This was an understatement. There is a blossoming lovefest between Turkey’s President Erdogan and Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán. Authoritarian Erdogan has arrested thousands of people, allegedly his “enemies,” among them Rev. Andrew Brunson, an American evangelical Christian pastor. Rev Brunson has been imprisoned since 2016 on trumped-up charges; the 50-year-old has lived in Turkey for over two decades and now Erdogan claims that the pastor and other Christians have conspired against him.

I expected that Hungary, the self-appointed leader of the fight against the persecution of Christians, would protest, and support Rev. Brunson. Not at all. Instead Mr. Azbej distributed his photo with Mr. Kushner. When I asked him about the US pastor, he wrote that Hungary is “monitoring the situation.”

Pastor Andrew Brunson (in the middle).

I find it strange and quite distasteful to use Kushner’s photo to promote Hungary’s program for persecuted Christians while refusing to condemn Mr. Erdogan’s persecution of the pastor. It seems that Hungary’s program is nothing more than a convenient media stunt, as President Trump would say – Fake News.

György Lázár


  1. Mohmed Suleyman Erdogan is on his way to destroy Turkey’s chance to proceed to be a modern and democratic nation. Has lots of mental backwardness to overcome to begin with, but what he is doing building his own glory is detrimental to the country’s future. In another week or so, Turkey will be just like Venezuela. Allying with Moscow will bring even more problems.

  2. Avatar Váci Klebelsberg Kultúrkör says:

    Hungary, as a country with more than 1000 years old christian rootes and rules has absolutely the right for defending the christian values and persucted christian minorities in situ and in locus anywhere in the globe.
    What is so bad on it ???
    Why do you find “disgusting” it ???

    • „christian values“ … Hungarian Christians lie, steal, suppress, give false testimonies and seek the possession of their neighbor.

      Hungarian christian hero Stephen I. rendered his cousins unable to govern by blinding them and pouring lead in their ears … no culture – hungarian culture.

  3. Holding two hands.
    Just like lovers. Hmmmm???

  4. Avatar StrandedinSopron says:

    Váci Klebelsberg Kultúrkör,

    “…defending the christian values and persucted christian minorities in situ and in locus anywhere in the globe.”

    But that is the point of the post. Orban is a very good friend of Erdogan who is not only an Islamist but also actively persecutes Christians in Turkey.

    So, Fidesz and you “defend” persecuted Christian minorities everywhere in world except Turkey? Is that your point?

  5. Only ignorant barbarians have problem with religions.
    But Hungary today is anything but a “Christian nation “.
    Most are atheist, socialists and deny and ignore any moral values.
    That’s pretty much the case around the world today.

    • “Only ignorant barbarians have problem with religions.”

      The Bible says: “I am the Lord your God, thou shalt have no other gods.” God is an ignorant barbarian or you are very stupid?

      “But Hungary today is anything but a “Christian nation “.” But Hungary say they are “the Christian nation” also very stupid.

      “Most are atheist, socialists and deny and ignore any moral values.” You have no idea about hungary.

      “That’s pretty much the case around the world today.” How can that be.

  6. Don Kichote;

    You must be indeed a genius, as matter of fact the only genius in this world.

    According to your view, every one is “stupid barbarian”, even “god”.

    • It was not my view, it is the first commandment of the Christians from which you made an idiocy. You see, like “the Hungarian Christians, against you almost everyone is a genius.

  7. Yes Don;
    Just as you stated it.

    Now I have to repeat it; Only ignorant barbarians have problem with religions !!!

    But as you have written it :
    ” God is an ignorant barbarian or you are very stupid”

    You stated the evidence of what you are !

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