19 Jan : Hindus and Jews have jointly asked Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew to wholeheartedly and urgently come out in support of long suffering Roma populace of Europe, who reportedly live under apartheid.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed and prominent Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, in a joint statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that since Patriarch Bartholomew enjoyed considerable influence in many parts of Europe where Roma live, his support for Roma cause would prove very effective in their upliftment, inclusion and integration, and bringing them at par with rest of European population.
Zed and Rabbi Freirich argued that there was reportedly brazen structural discrimination of Roma in education, housing access, property rights, etc., in Europe. Anti-Roma attitude even showed sometimes in official speeches. According to an estimate, less than one percent of Roma children attended postsecondary education.
As one of the leading religious figures of the world, it was Patriarch Bartholomew’s moral obligation to work to stop human rights violations regularly suffered by this distinct ethnic and cultural group of Roma whose maltreatment was outside even the European Union norms, Zed and Rabbi Freirich pointed out.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that religions could not stay apathetic to societal truths. He stressed that it was not moral to remain unconcerned when fellow human beings were facing blatant injustice and discrimination right under our nose in Europe, and urged Patriarch Bartholomew and other world religions and religious leaders to show strong will, courage, and commitment in support of Roma cause.
His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew and spiritual leader of about 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal. Judaism is a monotheistic religion of world’s about 14 million Jews whose most sacred text is Torah.