“Romas’ Redeemer, Jesus is our God…” sang nearly four thousands Roma and non-Roma believers at the first Protestant Roma Mission Meeting at the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Budapest-Fasor on February 20, 2016.
Tragedies like the Roma Holocaust will only be unrepeatable if there is a culture of respect and if the mainstream and Roma “learn together, work together, live together and think together,” the minister of human resources said.
Between the 25th and the 28th of February, nearly sixty people attended the conference called “Rapprochement Among Nations”, which provided an opportunity to experience the healing and reconciliation among Christians of different origins.
Where do reformed Roma live?
Gypsies don’t have a unified religion. They generally adopt the dominant religion of their location, hence all the types of Roma living in Hungary, for example in Bulgaria both Christians and Muslims can be found.
The Biztos Kezdet Kid’s Center was opened in the village known as the fresco-village, Bódvalenke on 29 May. The program is a lifesaver for the inhabitants where more than half of the population are children and 28 of their mothers are younger than 18.
The HEKS Regional Partner Meeting of Eastern Europe and Western Balkans was organised in Kosovo and Serbia on inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, where the Reformed Church in Hungary was represented by the Roma Mission Office.
Christians never fight for causes which are completely lost, since with their faith in God they can change the world. This story is about the creativity of a community surrounded by hopelessness in Northeastern Hungary.
Focusing on “Reconciliation – Wholeness – and Hope,” several hundred people gathered from across Hungary and from Subcarpathia for a national Roma mission Day of Prayer and sharing. Most of the attendees were Roma, with some non-Roma Hungarians and foreign volunteers present.
In only a few minutes, volunteers of the “A way toward life” program – doctors and nurses of the Bethesda Hospital and co-workers of the Reformed Mission Centre – experienced fragments of lives during their mission, when they examined more than 1,000 people in 14 disadvantaged towns within the framework of a free check-up program.
To understand more about the collaboration between HEKS and the RCH, we spoke with Project Coordinator Petra Dienes about the details of the "Country Program," which focuses on support through the “strengthening of congregations to foster and cooperate with Roma children and young persons.”
Partnership is an invaluable asset for today’s global church, but it is also a broad term that encompasses many different forms of agreement and cooperation. Never is this more evident than the partnership between the Reformed Church in Hungary and Global Ministries in the USA.
The fall meeting of the General Synod of the RCH began on 14 November in Budapest. Several topics were on the docket for the meeting, including the Roma action plan, the findings of the Church Revision Committee and a discussion on the implication of the Leuenberg Agreement on church legal documents.
German politicians have traveled to Hungary to study existing Roma integration programs, because as the EU continues to expand east, large numbers of Roma are arriving in Germany, creating major integration challenges.