Thursday, 01 August 2019 15:23

HUNGARY – Origo exploits Christian persecution to incite hatred against Muslims

The pro-government news site Origo uses data on discrimination against Christians across the world to spread fears on the presence of Islam in Europe. This is Hungary’s media monitoring highlight for July.

This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of July, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.

origo christiansDate of publication: 6 July 2019

Media outlets: Origo, a pro-government news site. It changed its editorial stance in 2015, moving from being critical of the Fidesz-led government to be supportive of the current government in its political reporting.

Link:  https://bit.ly/2OvtpES

Headline: “Also Christians in Africa are Increasingly At Risk”

Description of the anti-Muslim content: This article by propaganda media outlet Origo focuses on the discrimination and violence that Christian communities face in Africa. It claims that  Western countries are not taking any action to address this issue even though “the disappearance of Christian communities in the Middle East is causing very serious security policy risks in Europe.”According to Origo, Western media do not report on hatred against Christians, but they “give a huge amount of exposure to Islamophobia.” It is also stated that “in many cases, Christian communities have been an impediment to the advance of Islam.” The article uses Algeria as an example: Algeria was a centre of Christianity when Saint Augustine lived in the 5th century, but now almost the entirety of the population is Muslim: “how many countries are still waiting for this fate, and when will the West do something?”, the reporter asks.

Myth Debunked: Reports by Christian organisations, such as Aid to the Church in Need, have denounced an increase in the persecution and discrimination against Christians around the world in the past few years. An interim report by the Bishop of Truro commissioned by British Foreign Secretary warns that Christianity is risking being “wiped out” from parts of the Middle East. However, while this report states that “a focus on Christian persecution must not be to the detriment of other minorities, but rather helps and supports them,” the Origo article uses facts and figures to attack Muslims, a common theme in the pro-government news outlets which are aligned with the ruling Fidesz party. Using the same fear-mongering technique of other articles, this story is only partially based on facts, which are simplified to distort reality and incite hatred. Other facts, which would add nuance and contextualize the story, are not included. According to Pew Research Center’s 9th annual study of global restrictions on religion, harassment of religious minorities around the world continued to increase in 2016. The results, published in June 2019, show that “Christians and Muslims have typically been harassed in the largest number of countries around the world”, respectively in 144 countries and 142.

More to read:

Persecuted and Forgotten? A report on Christians oppressed for their Faith

How Islam Created Europe

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