Hungarian Jewish Leaders Voice Solidarity With Persecuted Christians

Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities Felt ‘Compelled’ to Send Letter to CCEE

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As the crisis in the Middle East escalates, leaders of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities have expressed their empathy and solidarity for those Christians being persecuted in the region.

In a letter written today to Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom—Budapest and president of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, known as Mazsihisz, expressed its solidarity with the persecuted Christians.

Events in recent weeks, says the August 14th joint letter of András Heisler, President of Mazsihisz, and retired Chief Rabbi József Schweitzer, ‘compelled’ them to lift up their voice regarding the persecution of the Christian minority in Iraq, Syria and several other countries throughout the world.

The letter notes that the history of the Jewish people means they know what it is like to be persecuted and outcast, what it is like to live among direct threats or facing total destruction.

While thousands of Christian adults and children are slain, the authors added, public opinion ignores the situation, dealing only with questioning Israel’s right to self-defense.

Cardinal Péter Erdő responded to the chief rabbi and president of Mazsihisz saying he read with “great pleasure the declaration of solidarity, the words of faith and genuine humanity,” and is “glad to share the letter with the faithful of our Catholic Community and the representatives of the Church throughout the world.”

The Hungarian archbishop also said, “Your clear and sympathetic words give consolation and encouragement for us in the service of our shared values and in the service of life and humanity.”

According to its official site, the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities is the representative organ of the local Jewish community, which oversees some 40 synagogues. Its highest level is the council, with 121 members from all around the Hungarian synagogues, and the rabbis. More than 120,000 Jews lives live in Hungary, mostly in Budapest.


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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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