This is an abridged version of an interview with world-famous Australian American Christian evangelist Nick Vujicic, first published on Mandiner.hu. Foreign affairs chief staff writer Tamás Maráczi sat down with Mr Vujicic for a conversation after his remarks at the 5th Budapest Demographic Summit to talk about his conversion, the mission of the church, and Hungary’s political significance.
At some point in their lives, nearly everyone undergoes a crisis that has the potential to profoundly impact their personality. In such moments, a common question emerges: ‘why is this happening to me?’ How would you respond to such a question?
You know, for many years, even I was asking God why there is pain. According to the Bible, the domain of the Earth is not the Lord’s, but the Devil’s. ‘Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ Or to cite another one, ‘[The thief] comes only to steal and kill and destroy’. But what the devil tried to use for bad, God can turn into good. I prayed for arms and legs, which he didn’t give me. But he saved my soul, he healed my heart and renewed my mind. That was the foundation for my faith and my future life.
Did God let you be born into this body so he can save many more lives through you than if you were a four-limbed man?
No. I don’t think that it was God’s perfect plan to let me be born this way. It was a disease, it was a disability. I entrusted the shattered pieces of my life to God, and from those fragments, He fashioned something truly marvellous. Each individual carries within them shattered fragments in their life. When we grant the Lord an opportunity to help, He can craft fresh realities from the shattered pieces we place in His care. If He could utilize me for His glory, He can certainly do the same for anyone.
In your testimonies, you’ve recounted numerous instances of the challenges and struggles you faced during your childhood and youth. How were you able to reconcile with your life and ultimately discover your faith in God?
For me, it was a journey. When I was ten years old I attempted suicide. I tried to drown myself in the bathtub in six inches of water. I’d convinced myself that there was no hope, I’d convinced myself that there was no purpose, and I had convinced myself that there was nothing good ahead. However, my attempt to take my own life failed.
Later, at the age of fifteen, I became engrossed in the narrative found in John, Chapter 9, where Jesus heals a man born blind. I came to the realization that if God had revealed all His plans for me, there would be no space for faith. Many Christians, especially within the American church, fail to grasp these divine coherencies, often proclaiming a belief that God unfailingly blesses them in every circumstance. No, He doesn’t always say yes.
Certain heavenly matters remain beyond our comprehension,
allowing us to bring joy to God as He observes us faithfully believing in what He says with a childlike trust, even amidst our emotions and convictions. We believe that ‘God works for the good of those who love Him’. This often elicits the contempt of the world, but at the same time, it brings joy to the Lord. ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’, as the Bible says. But what does that mean? It means that He is with me, He is going to carry me, and even unto death. Our treasures are not here; our treasures are in Heaven.
In the midst of pain and challenging years, what insights did you gain about God’s nature that are hard to grasp without enduring such trials?
God is so kind. He’s so patient. And that we don’t deserve that kindness. So many people feel entitled to this kindness and patience, or even consider God and religion as mere accessories when they go through difficult times. During these hardships I learned that the first and foremost character of God is that He is my friend. And He is my king. My everything.
Throughout your journey of preaching the gospel to millions as a motivational speaker and imparting a message of hope to the marginalized in society—those facing disabilities, addiction, and imprisonment—did you yourself encounter moments of despair? Did your faith remain unshaken?
It didn’t take too much time to realize that having the belief that Heaven exists and thinking that merely aiming for it as a life purpose isn’t substantial. It is not a sufficient goal in life, it will not convey the reality of Heaven. I came to the realization that solely making choices for my own salvation isn’t sufficient. To fulfil the concealed purposes of Heaven and make a transformative impact on others’ lives, I require God’s guidance.
When you don’t get a miracle, be one.
It’s not a tradition, it’s not a religion, it’s a way of life.
You brought up the condition of the American church. Many Christians are witnessing a global crisis within the church—division, weakness, and a noticeable lack of inspiration. In light of this, how can the bride be ready for the groom*, and be aligned with the kind of unified and inspired community that Jesus envisioned?
Let me cite Jesus’ last request: ‘God, Father, may they be one.’ And during Covid, and some persecuting times and hardships, I thought that we would become one. I’m convinced that we’re never going to become one as denominational branches of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, the remnant of true believers, in 2023, conservative Christians—and what does that mean? to actually believe the Bible as it stands; you cannot replace a word, you cannot tear out a page, it is what it is—so, the bride, how are we going to be ready? I would say, if you study the word ‘remnant’, remnant is a small amount, but we are protected by Him. We know the world’s Governor is coming. But we have an opportunity until He comes back to actually unite, and not just be victims, and report what is going on, but actually proactively stand the ground, in humility, unto death. We’re not the only ones, Christians that, you know, whose very lives could be threatened. We’re not there yet. Could it come? Yeah, 100 per cent. Am I scared? No. Do I know how it’s going to happen? No. But I think this actually helps a lot of people who actually don’t believe in a One-World Government. When I was speaking on stage, some people were squirming, and I could read the room, who is who. And God needs to convict us, first as individuals, because we are the Church. And that’s what I wanted to do on the stage, convey that it’s not about the formula, it’s not about an organization, it’s about you, the individual, knowing the truth, being convicted and convinced, and thus therein, be obedient and sacrifice.
If I understood correctly, the hardships will come to the world, and the Christians will be under pressure, and the gold of their hearts will be shining or fading, right?
Yes, there will be separation, for sure. I think we’ve already seen it. The reason why I came here is because I’m a global man. I’ve seen America, I’ve seen the deterioration, the terrible policies, the effects of all these things. I’m European, I’ve now been to 79 countries, multiple times. When you go to countries multiple times, you know what’s real and you know what’s fake. And, so, I believe with all my heart that Hungary in the centre of Europe could be possibly the most bold, humble, active, and courageous country right now, that could inform the people in Europe and worldwide. I also came because I want Europe to know what we know in America. We know that all this deterioration wasn’t birthed in America as a government, as a nation, a lot of it came from the UN, a lot of it came from the EU, and so people need to know what’s really going on.
And when you look at a country like Canada, Australia, some Scandinavian countries, too, where everything goes, you see that the true North is gone, there is no foundation, and they’re on sand.
Do you refer to their having abandoned their Christian heritage, wokism, gender ideology, and the like?
Well, you got cancel culture, LGBTQ, pro-abortion stances. And if you approached any African government, looked them in the eye and asked: have you ever been offered money in exchange for instituting things that actually go against the Bible? You will never find a government in Africa that will say no, because they all were approached.
It was very interesting that in your speech you criticized America, America that has been protective of evangelical virtues and values for decades, but that is changing. There are still powerful churches that work very well, but at the same time ‘sin is growing bigly’, as Trump said.
The churches are there, but they are scared.
Their focus is now self-preservation.
And they do not want to actually assess what is really going on, in their hearts, in their minds. As an organization, they say they want to be right with God, but they don’t want to repent.
What kind of repentance do you see in Hungary? Half a year ago when you spoke at the Arena in Budapest, you said and let me quote you, ‘Hungary has a special place in God’s heart’. So what did we do accidentally or deliberately with which we deserved this place in God’s heart?
You stand up for persecuted Christians, you value life, you help Hungarians outside of Hungary. You are bold to be able to tell the EU no, we will put propaganda on billboards and into school curricula that is pro-family, for pro-life, and you’ve got the metrics! The data shows that the number of divorces has gone down by half, and that of abortions has gone down by half—giant, giant! And you’re the only ones that can say that. And you have the statistical data to back all that up.
Why? Because you chose to believe, as a country, what the Bible says: when you put your house in order, as a country, He will bless you. As for America: what people don’t understand is that America is not one country. America is 51 nations. No matter who the president is, each state is basically governed by the governor. So that is why I wanted to also make a point: there are still very good conservative people left in America, so do not write off America: in fact we need each other.
Which aspect of the family policies of the Hungarian government do you particularly like?
The focus on demographics, for one. I’m Serbian. And I know the complexities of, let’s say, Kosovo. Talk about demography! Just on the simple fact of demography, and corruption, we lost that part of our country, or we’re about to lose it. You get hijacked simply by demography, which is kind of unfair. The other thing I love about this country is that President Katalin Novák and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán love God, and know that God is the only protector and provider for Hungary.
On another note: in your remarks, you sound a bit like a politician. Don’t you fear that if you make speeches like the one you gave in Budapest, you risk your position as a neutral Christian preacher who wishes to reach every segment of society? Some might label you as a right-wing preacher.
I really don’t mind. I’ve really lost everything. I’ve already gone through hell. Also, you cannot separate faith and politics. It’s very fundamental. You can’t tell me that you’re a Christian and continue with your pornographic addiction. You don’t know God. Period. You don’t know God. You need healing. You need counselling. You need support. You need community. Same thing if you learn that an eight-year-old’s mind is being molesting by being exposed to pornographic material. in school. You have to see that as evil. It is wrong, it is not of God, and if you don’t stand up to that, we’ve lost everything.
So Christians should be involved in politics, is that your message?
The reason why America has become what it is today is because not enough Christians that were true went into politics. And we were crippled, because we believed a lie: that faith and politics cannot go hand-in-hand. But in reality, there is no other way.
* The word bridegroom is often used in the Bible as a metaphor for God, specifically for Jesus Christ. The church is likened to a bride with Christ as her bridegroom.