In the latest example of cooperation between Rev. Sándor Németh’s Faith Church and the ruling Fidesz party, Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders visited Hungary last week to promote his book Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me, recently published in Hungarian by Patmos Records, the Faith Church’s publishing house.
Wilders reportedly attended events in Nyíregyháza, Sopron, Budapest, and Győr. These appearances were dutifully covered by Hungary’s pro-government propaganda outlets (Origo, 888, Pesti Srácok, Magyar Idők, Magyar Hírlap).
In an interview given to pro-government daily online 888.hu, Wilders praised Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for his position on immigration, for building the fence along its southern frontier, for defending Hungary’s Christian identity, and for fighting against the “Brussels monster.”
“I wish there would be more brave leaders in Europe like Viktor Orbán,” Wilders said.
An index.hu reporter who attended Wilders’ book launch at a Faith Church house of worship in Győr noted the attendees included government commissioner for Győr-Moson-Sopron county Sándor Széles and Fidesz MP (and government undersecretary) Róbert Simon. The two ruling party officials reportedly merited special mention prior to the start of the event.
The Faith Church operates a conglomeration of enterprises in Hungary. Despite its tumultuous history with Fidesz, recently various church enterprises have received government grants. These synergies have raised eyebrows, especially as the church’s various media outlets have come more and more to toe the government line on immigration.
In mid-January, 444.hu published an exposé about a compromise that supposedly took place between the Faith Church and Fidesz, and reportedly including official state recognition of the church (entitling it to state subsidies) as well as generous grants. Faith Church founder Rev. Sándor Németh and his underlings have been all too eager to popularize the political messages of Fidesz in recent years.