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Welcoming Iohannis as new Romania President, Hindu community urges him to end Roma apartheid
Congratulating Klaus Iohannis on his swearing in as Romania's President on December 21, distinguished US-based Hindu religious leader Rajan Zed has urged him to do something "concrete and real" to improve the situation of country's Roma who reportedly faced apartheid conditions.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that something of substance should be urgently undertaken to stop the maltreatment of Romanian Roma. Romania's Roma community is said to be the biggest in Europe and according to reports, between 1.8 and 2.5 million Roma live in Romania and about 75 per cent live in poverty.

He noted that new President Iohannis should welcome Roma brothers and sisters with open arms so that they did not have to migrate fleeing discrimination and poverty in Romania. Iohannis needed to exhibit a strong will, commitment, intention and responsibility to bring concrete and lasting results on the reality of the Roma population.

Rajan Zed further said that Romania's religious leaders and religious groups, especially Romanian Orthodox Church Patriarch His Beatitude Daniel, should take-up the cause of Roma people and raise the issue of their continuous maltreatment; 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.

The religious leader pointed out that Europe's most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma were reportedly encountering apartheid conditions in Romania and Europe.

Roma reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, unusually high unemployment rates, etc.

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