Lebanon News

Hungary to renovate 30 Lebanese churches

A church and a mosque sit next to each other in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. (Mohammad Azakir/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil received Thursday evening a delegation from Hungary to discuss a Hungarian aid package to renovate Lebanese churches, a statement from Bassil’s media office reported.

"The renovation process will include more than 32 churches across Lebanon," Peter Heltai, ambassador-at-large of the Hungary Helps Initiative, said, according to the statement released Friday. "Lebanon is one of the pillars of peace, diversity, and coexistence in the Middle East."

Hungary Helps is a governmental initiative that aims to help troubled communities in their local contexts. Hungary also prioritizes improving the lives of Christians in the Middle East.

"It is important, because of migration and the humanitarian conflict in the Middle East, to establish an approach aimed at bringing refugees back to their countries and finding a long-term and lasting solution to this conflict," Heltai said.

The Hungarian government is also reportedly planning projects that would further strengthen the economic ties between Hungary and Lebanon.

Earlier this year, Hungary donated 1.5 million euros ($1.8 million) to assist in the reconstruction of the over thirty churches, according to the Hungary Helps website.

"Lebanon plays a crucial role in the preservation of the Christian communities," Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto said, off the initiative.





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