Hungary Insight

Road to Kossuth Square #2 – Why is Christianity so important in Hungarian politics? 

Hungarians will go to the polls on April 3 to decide who will represent them in parliament in the next 4 years. Every week until the election, in our podcast Road to Kossuth Square, we discuss and analyse the issues dominating Hungarian politics and the most recent events of the campaign.

In this episode, we are discussing the relationship between Hungarian politics, Christianity and the Church. The country’s current prime minister, Viktor Orbán places a huge focus on Christianity as part of his politics. In 2019, he stated: “The point of illiberal democracy is Christian Liberty and defending Christian Liberty. Illiberalism strives to protect Christian Freedom and aims to defend everything liberals neglect, forget, and despise.”

Meanwhile, the opposition’s candidate for prime Minister, Péter Márki-Zay is a devout Catholic who says he was a Christian long before Viktor Orbán. He recently finished his speech at a protest in solidarity with Ukraine with a prayer to which he called the gathered protesters to join. How did Christianity come to play such a prominent role in the politics of Hungary, one of the least religious countries in Europe?

We are discussing this with Alex Faludy, a freelance journalist, who Ábel Bede joins in Záhony, a town right by Hungary’s border with Ukraine. They also discuss the refugee situation at the border and the reaction of Hungary’s politicians to last week’s developments.

Road to Kossuth Square is a limited series hosted by the head of Kafkadesk’s Budapest Office, Ábel Bede. Each episode will concern an issue that influenced Hungarian politics in the past decade as well as the most important events of the campaign from the respective week.

In our first episode, we discussed Hungary’s foreign policy and the country’s relationship with the EU and the V4. We also spoke about the reaction of Fidesz, the United Opposition, and the Hungarian public to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our guest was foreign-policy journalist and V4 specialist, Gergő Illés, who is a contributor to Hungarian-language European affairs newsletter, Gemist.

Coordinated by Ábel Bede, Kafkadesk's Budapest office is made up of a growing team of freelance journalists, editors and fact-checkers passionate about Hungarian affairs and dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, events and insights from Hungary.