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International Roma Day: CCEE-CEC, “Ending hate and exclusion. We must journey together”

“We encourage our Christian communities in Europe to continue to support Roma wellbeing and actively work to end hate speech and social exclusion. We must journey together”. This is what the general secretaries of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) ask in a joint statement released on the eve of the International Roma Day (8 April). “We appeal to all to welcome the marginalised and uphold their human dignity as a gift from God. Roma people, with their unique traditions, faith, and culture, are also called to bring their values to European society as responsible citizens”. According to the CCEE and the CEC: “The Roma have a centuries-old sense of shared European identity and free movement across political, cultural, and religious boundaries. They are one of the indigenous European nations, however, without an equal standing in terms of respect or honour among them”. “The fact that they live under circumstances of continued discrimination and even persecution is a disgrace to all European countries. The principal way out of the present difficult situation of the Roma people and their families is learning, work, and faith. Their inclusion is a necessary indication of our commitment for a shared European identity and the free movement of people, commerce, and ideas” in Europe.

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