February 22nd, 2012

Hungarian Police on Hunt for Elusive “Buddhist Gypsies”

Local police in the east Hungarian settlement of Sajókaza are calling on local Roma (Gypsy) families to declare their religious affiliations in writing in connection with an ongoing investigation into last October’s national census.

István János Lázi, head of the local Roma government council, told Index.hu that police are trying to obtain permission from the Roma to use their personal data as part of an investigation against Buddhists.

During the census about 300 Roma individuals formerly declared that they are Buddhists, and the police are suspecting foul play because Roma are traditionally Catholics. One of the “suspects” is Lázi himself.

The portal said many Roma named the Buddhist church as their religious denomination on the census form because of the Buddhists’ efforts to help the Roma.

According to the portal, the investigation is pointless because resident were not required to provide their names, only their address, on the census forms, and therefore it will be nearly impossible to identify the individuals in question.

Still, if you were wondering whether there is any group more persecuted than the Roma in Hungary, now you know that there is: Roma Buddhists.

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