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The history of the Roma (Romani) and Sinti people in Europe is filled with discrimination and bias. That’s why mission co-workers Burkhard Paetzold, Al Smith, and the coordinator for the Middle East and Europe, Luciano Kovacs, helped plan and participate in a conference in Budapest recently, to reflect on the Churches’ history, relationship and interaction with the Roma. The conference was organized by the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME).
April 8 is International Romani Day, celebrating the Romani (Roma) culture, history and people and raising awareness of the issues they face. The Roma are the largest minority group in Europe and are commonly known in the English-speaking world as “Gypsies,” a perjorative term. Like “Native American,” “Roma” is an umbrella term for many subgroups.