conference highlight

The II. Carpathian Basin Roma Mission Conference was held in Békés with hundreds of participants from Hungary and beyond. The organizers aimed to create a collaboration that could impact the integration of Hungarian-speaking Roma communities. As part of the two-day program, the recently formed Roma Mission Forum also held discussions.

HGMI has always considered support for Hungarian-speaking Roma communities in the Carpathian Basin to be of utmost importance. Members of the Carpathian Basin Roma Mission Forum, established at last year’s conference, met for the third time, aiming to bring together various stakeholders committed to improving the situation of the Roma and providing a platform for sharing experiences, ideas, and best practices. During this year’s conference, participants decided to form working groups to facilitate more effective collaboration.

Last year’s conference in Mátészalka targeted the outreach to Hungarian-speaking Roma communities and churches, generating national and professional collaborations and building unity based on Christian values.

Lászlóné Radomszki, Deputy State Secretary for Social Inclusion, emphasized that special attention has been given to Roma pastoral care in the Hungarian National Social Inclusion Strategy.

“I proudly wear a pin made from the flag of the Roma people, which I received at a prayer day recently. The recent International Roma Day celebration is of great importance, as it allows us to remember all those we are proud of in the Hungarian Roma community. The Ministry of the Interior aims to support this goal with the establishment of the János Balázs Award, which was awarded to three individuals with completely different life paths this year. The government’s accepted strategy for social inclusion addresses preventing the recurrence of poverty, supporting families with children, and overcoming territorial inequalities. However, we also recognize the special significance of Roma pastoral care and missions in the life of communities,” highlighted Lászlóné Radomszki.

Attila Sztojka, Government Commissioner for Roma Affairs, has been a supporter of the conference from the beginning.

“There is currently a strong spiritual battle raging in the world, and the question is whether the country has leadership that builds its mindset on Christian values in this struggle as well. Many are trying to push humanity into a gray area that separates it from the values created by the Creator, but we must resist because if we read the Bible, we must realize that we have no other choice than to live our faith and find hopeful fulfillment in it,” he emphasized in his address.

The guests were also greeted by Tibor Kálmán, Mayor of Békés, highlighting the importance of the event in building relationships within the city, as participants came from across the entire Carpathian Basin. Albert Durkó, President of HGMI, delivered a sermon, and the Voices of Hope Band provided worship for the attendees. Throughout the afternoon, guests from abroad provided updates on their work, successes, and challenges. The next conference is planned to take place in a year’s time.

Carpathian Basin Coalition for the Roma 73

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