Novák opened the fifth Hungarian National Prayer Breakfast in Budapest on Friday by saying a prayer. She thanked God for 'our' families. 'Help us to understand that we were created by You.'
The Hungarian minister compared today's Europe to the Tower of Babel. 'Faith is seen as something that is disruptive. But let us hold fast to the last sentence of the Lord's Prayer: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.'
Novák (1977) has been Minister for Family Affairs in the Orban government since October 2010. She is married and has three children. 'We support families to have children. More children means paying less tax.' Mothers with four or more children do not have to pay income tax for the rest of their lives.
It is constitutionally established in Hungary that marriage is something between one man and one woman. Novák: 'While everywhere else in European countries the number of marriages is declining, in Hungary it has increased by 25 percent in recent years. And the number of divorces is declining.'
In 2010, the government also allowed the Constitution to stipulate that father is male and mother is female. 'We saw signs even then that marriage and family were coming under severe pressure. And that has only gotten worse eleven years later. 'Europe is in great danger when it comes to families, marriage and children,' said Novák. 'This is not about our rightness, but about rightness in the light of God, in the light of eternity.'
Afraid to propagate this policy, Hungary is not. Budapest airport is full of "Family friendly Hungary" banners. Within Europe, however, the country is under heavy fire. After passing a law this summer stipulating that children are not confronted with homosexuality and transgender persons, among others, Prime Minister Rutte said that Hungary has nothing more to seek in the European Union. Hungary's ambassador to the Netherlands, Andras Kocsis, responded to Family7 that Europe is founded on Judeo-Christian values and traditions. "We have not changed. Europe has."
The prayer breakfast was introduced Thursday evening with parliamentarians from home and abroad in the Hungarian Parliament building, on the banks of the Danube. This architectural masterpiece is the largest building in Hungary and the third largest parliament building in Europe.
The Hungarian organizers were inspired by prayer breakfasts in the United States and Germany. Henk Jan van Schothorst of the Christian Council International wants to bring the prayer breakfast to the Netherlands as well. He offered Minister Novák for Family Affairs a certificate of appreciation for her work and promotion of Christian values in education and politics.
Van Schothorst called on the forming parties in the Netherlands to include a minister for Family or Family Affairs in the upcoming cabinet, following the example of Hungary. 'It is also very important for our country that this subject remains on the agenda.' In the Balkenende IV cabinet, André Rouvoet (ChristenUnie) was not only deputy prime minister but also minister for Youth and Family from 2007 to 2010.
The prayer breakfast was introduced Thursday evening with parliamentarians from home and abroad in the Hungarian parliament building. Photo: Riekelt Pasterkamp