In the following interview Szilveszter Póczik, historian-criminologist and the senior scientific representative of the Hungarian National Institute of Crimonology (OKRI), attempts to throw light on the differences and similarities between Gypsies living in Eastern and Western Europe.
The István Wáli Reformed Roma Collegium, which currently hosts 16 students, officially started its operation in September 2011. The Collegium was established as part of the Christian Roma Collegium Network to provide Roma students participating in higher education with accommodation, mentoring and additional courses to complement their school studies.
The Reformed Church in Hungary had resolved to make considerable contributions to the work of Hungary’s rotating EU presidency – which has just ended – with an emphatic presence and the organisation of events related to the themes of the presidency.
The dialogue between cultures, the role of education in integration, the relationship of church and the Roma community, as well as job creation were among the topics discussed by the participants of the Roma mission consultation held at the Budapest office of the Reformed Church of Hungary.
Not many of us are aware of the fact that the responsible participants of the Debrecen Synod (1567), an important event in the forming of the Hungarian Reformed Church1, already took the issue of Gypsies into consideration.
In spite of what the public thinks, Gypsies have never really been a uniform group. What is more, they are not even likely to have been one people in the past – states Szilveszter Póczik, a historian-criminologist and the senior scientific representative of the Hungarian National Institute of Crimonology (OKRI).
The attitude of our churches towards Roma people is the same as towards any other group of people: they need to hear the message of the Gospel and experience the love of God in order to change and discover new meanings in their lives, and find their true self-identity through a relationship with God