The European Union recently voted on sending a loan worth 18 billion euros to Ukraine, but it was vetoed by Hungary. The veto was seen as a continuation of a disagreement Hungary has with the EU for supposedly “undermining democracy.” Other members of the European Union intend to still send aid to Ukraine, however, it will take longer and be a more complicated process without all the countries agreeing to the proposal. Even Hungary said it would send “bilateral help” to Kyiv despite vetoing the loan. Fellow EU members have expressed their frustration with Hungary and see this as an underhanded way to push the EU into giving billions to Budapest. In punishment for Hungary’s veto of the Ukrainian loan, the EU delayed a decision to give COVID stimulus funds to Budapest. Zoltan Kovacs, the Hungarian spokesman, stated that the government had met every condition to receive EU funds and that it was setting a dangerous precedent that receiving the funds was contingent on unrelated issues. The Hungarian government refuses to change its position on the Ukrainian loan in order to receive funds from the EU.
A former Communist country, Hungary still battles poverty. Compared with the rest of the European Union, 75% of Hungarians live below the poverty line and the only EU nations behind Hungary are Romania and Bulgaria. While it is poor financially, Hungary is also poor spiritually. Many different religions are on the rise, however, non-religion tends to be the most common. A small 2% of the estimated 9.6 million claims to be evangelical Christians with 1% completely unevangelized. While the need for financial gain and stability is very real, a far more pressing issue is the need for spiritual freedom. Please pray that Hungarians will hear the gospel and act on what they have heard; pray also that believers will be burdened to go to Hungary to work in the harvest there.