RESOURCES

I know that many people back in the states are interested in what the political climate is like here in budapest, especially after the sudden flood of information about hungary started arriving in media outlets stateside this past summer, so I’ve tried to wrangle my favorite articles and news outlets here for your benefit and I’ll keep this list updated as I read more. read a little, read a lot, it’s completely up to you; I’ve found all of these links to be extremely helpful in getting my footing here and I hope you will gain more clarity into my work here in hungary by understanding a bit of the backstory of these complex issues. I’ll do my best to keep this list updated, so feel free to ask questions etc. in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to answer them and post articles that may help to clarify things!

  • here’s a link to the government of hungary’s website where they discuss the national consultation on immigration and terrorism that they began back in april. They sent out a mailer to every citizen with a letter from the prime minister and a questionnaire filled with leading questions about how terrible immigrants / refugees / migrants / asylum seekers are. you can read their official statement about it and also click a link on the right to see the mailer itself that went out. (though the mailer was only sent out in hungarian, so even those asylum seekers who were lucky enough to be granted citizenship would not have been able to read it.)

  • here’s a link to an anti-immigration billboard campaign that the government of hungary began after the national consultation this past spring.

  • after the billboard campaign began, citizens began to speak out and take direct action against this hostile communications strategy put forth by the hungarian government, calling their work an anti-anti-immigration campaign. here’s a link to an article about how citizens fought back with satire.

  • this media campaign by the hungarian government has also spread to other nations as hungary tries to prevent people from coming. this article is a bit more general, but mid-way down there’s a photo of a newspaper advertisement in lebanon that the government of hungary took out to try and deter more refugees from coming.

  • this one is an excellent interview that the reformed church in hungary did with two of their employees who have been working with refugees for years. (**spoiler alert: I also work with these people, and they’re absolutely fantastic! they have so much knowledge and expertise on the subject!)

  • this link is about work that hungarian reformed church aid (connected with the RCH) did in budapest this past september when refugees were pouring into cities and camps.

  • here’s some background information about an overnight shelter for women and children that is currently housed at my congregation here in budapest, st. columba’s church. this ministry was so vital in the immediate crisis period and I’m thankful to be a part of a congregation that was so willing to step outside their comfort-zone and truly welcome the outsider in to a place of comfort and warmth. these people are remarkable!

  • this is an excellent regional overview from UNHCR about the refugee crisis. it details where people are coming from, what routes they’re using to travel, and how many people are on the move.

  • here are Hungarian statistics from 2014 about the number of applicants and what kind of status the government of hungary granted them.

  • here’s a link to the UNHCR’s affirmations for faith leaders, an important blueprint that can be used in congregations to start a dialog about welcoming the stranger into your midst.

  • the european commission recently convened a dialogue seminar focussed on looking beyond the immediate humanitarian crisis provoked by the recent influx of migrants and refugees on european soil. COMECE, CEC, and CCME gathered experts and church leaders from across europe to discuss models of integration, best practices, and the fundamental values that guide integration within the european union. you can read more about the seminar, and the organizations present, here.

  • here are links to the UNHRC’s most recent info about syrian arrivals in europe and the response to syrian refugee’s in the surrounding region.

  • this is another wonderful interactive resource from the UNHCR about the daily arrivals of refugees and migrants in Europe.

  • here’s a recent article by the human rights watch about detention of asylum seekers and migrants in hungary.

  • even in the new year, migrants continue to cross the hungarian border.

  • this is a wonderful explanation of the terms used when talking about refugees in the european union.

  • the hungarian prime minister, viktor orbán, recently said that the external borders of the european union must be closed and that the direct resettlement of migrants is out of question in hungary.

  • new amendments to hungary’s migration and asylum law take effect on april 1st, ending much needed support for those trying to receive status and make a life in hungary.

there are tons of other great sources of information out there, like the english website for the reformed church in hungary (which has an entire section dedicated to news about migrants in hungary), so please, don’t stop here! keep reading, keep educating yourself, and keep asking what god is calling you to do in this time and place.