Hindus and Jews urge Pope to halt Roma demolitions in Italy

Nevada (US), Sept 8 (ANI): Hindus and Jews have urged His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to urgently intervene and try to stop the proposed demolition of Roma (Gypsy) settlements in Italy.

According to reports, Rome has planned to demolish 200 Roma settlements, resulting in making thousands of Roma, including women and children, homeless, and losing their possessions, jobs, etc. Many of their children attended schools.

Noted Hindu statesman Rajan Zed and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a joint statement in Nevada today, said that this Roma apartheid and racism was happening right under Pope's nose. As religion taught us to plead for the oppressed, stand with the poor, and seek justice for those whom God loved and too often the world overlooked; Pope's silence on this issue would be simply "out-of-line" and "shocking".

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Freirich argued that apartheid of about 15-million Roma people of Europe was immoral and a dark stain on the face of Europe and world. It was almost sinful and morally unjustifiable for us religious people to just ignore Roma suffer day after day and not raise concern.

Rajan Zed and Rabbi Freirich were hopeful that Pope would not stay apathetic and silent spectator when fellow Roma brothers/sisters were reportedly facing blatant maltreatment, which was outside even the European Union norms. It was Pope's moral obligation to make efforts to stop human rights violations suffered by European Roma.

Europe's most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma reportedly regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc., Zed and Rabbi Freirich pointed out. (ANI)

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