Despite some misgivings, most supported him as a conservative Christian who would stand up for their values.
Szófia Boros voted for Victor Orbán. The young evangelical mother of two has her misgivings about the man who has been accused of undermining democracy—curtailing press freedom, undercutting the independent judiciary, and changing election rules to give an advantage to his political party, Fidesz.
But in the end, it was pretty simple to support him for reelection on April 3.
“Evangelical Christians support the majority of Orbán’s policies and positions, even if we don’t really admire the way he goes about his politics,” she said. “I voted for him because he is a conservative Christian standing up against a liberal Europe.”
Evangelicals aren’t a big or politically organized voting bloc in Hungary. Only a few evangelical groups are established enough to achieve recognition from the national government, including the Baptist Union, the Hungarian Methodist Church, the Hungarian Pentecostal Church, the Church of the Nazarene, and the charismatic Faith Church, whose pastor endorsed Orbán during a Sunday service.
About half the people in the country consider themselves Catholic, a quarter has no religious affiliation, and 16 percent—including Orbán—identify with the Reformed Church in Hungary, which is part of the mainline World Council of Churches and affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Eighty percent of the country identifies as Christian, but only about 15 percent of Hungarians attend church on a weekly basis.
But a lot of Hungarians, it turns out, feel like Boros. They wanted a conservative Christian prime minister committed to defending what they see as a Christian culture and its Christian values.
“The Fidesz campaign …