We demand the Romanian Orthodox Church to ask forgiveness, publicly, for the 500 years of Roma slavery
The petition can be signed here.
To the Most Blessed Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church,
In Romania, the Orthodox Church had Roma slaves for 500 years. Roma people were received as donations and treated as objects, bought from specially arranged fairs, who worked for the benefit of the Church, mothers were separated from their children. Roma people, Christened in Orthodoxy, were seen as inferior, servants to the servants of God.
In a recent visit to Romania, Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic world, showed wisdom and humility when he chose to acknowledge the sins of his forefathers and ask forgiveness for their sins. We believe it is a good moment for you to also assume ownership for the sins of your forefathers regarding the Roma community in our country.
We also need to learn from the errors of the Great Priests from Sanhedrin who condemned Jesus to unjust death and repair the injustice that the Roma community had, whose effects are visible even today.
We, the Roma communities in Romania, say #aresel #enough with the ignorance and silence of the Orthodox Church regarding this dark history that we share. The wounds of a society cannot be healed unless we choose to talk about it.
We, therefore, ask you respectfully:
1. Apologize publicly to the Roma people for the 500 years of slavery;
2. Organize memorial services every year on February 20th, on Roma Liberation Day;
3. Give homeless people, regardless of their ethnicity, building land or buildings, because some of them are descendants of the slaves who built up a large part of the churches and historical monasteries;
4. Raise memorial plaques for all churches and monasteries that owned slaves with the message, “This place was built and maintained with the help of Roma slaves,” and the priests and monks there would pray daily for the sons of the slaves detained by their forefathers.
Your Beatitude Daniel, this petition is not an act against orthodoxy, faith, worshippers, priests or yourself, but just a natural remedy for the dark past of the institution you coordinate. Most Roma in Romania are Orthodox Christians, respect our human dignity by assuming the demands of this petition.
We are all the sons and daughters of the same God,
The #Aresel Team!
 “Even on the streets of Iaşi, in my youth, I have seen human beings wearing chains on their hands or their feet, some, even iron horns set on their forehead and connected by columns around the neck. Cruel beatings, condemnation to hunger and smoke, lock up in private prisons, thrown naked in the snow or frozen rivers, so the fate of the miserable Gypsies! Then the contempt for the holiness of family ties. The wife was taken from her husband, the daughter kidnapped from her parents, the children who were taken from the bosom of their birth mother, broken and separated from each other and sold as cattle to special buyers in the four corners of Romania. Neither humanity, nor religion, nor civil law had protection for these miserable beings; was an awful show, crying to heaven.” (Kogălniceanu, 1891)