religion :: hate is a global issue
|Roma in Greece|
by Luis Delgado
Athinganoi is the root word for which various languages derive their equivalent of Gypsy: Tsigani (French), Zingari (Italian), and Zigeune (German).
The Athinganoi were a religious sect of the Eastern Orthodox religion, the main religion in Greece. After they became popular and the numbers of followers grew the more conservative Orthodox religion began to accuse them of wizardry as well as heresy. This led to the persecution of the Athinganoi, which peaked 200 years later. The Roma were initially were confused for the Athinganoi because both groups worshiped fire and practiced fortune telling.
Greek men in the 15th century who had relation with Roma women, who at the time were called Aiguptissas (derived from the word for Egyptian), were punished with a religious sentence - five years excommunication.
Ever since Roma introduced themselves into Greece there have been attempts
classify them. There is classification of Roma from “good” Gypsy
to “bad” Gypsy.
Laws like these are common in Greece. There are also documented instances of forced relocation that commonly take place. These relocations are to prevent the Roma population from becoming a permanently settling in those areas. The attitude of the Greek population towards the Roma can best be described by words from a report put together by the European Roma Rights Center
"The Attempts undertaken by the Roma to integrate are drastically undermined by the racist reaction of a society, which is nevertheless convinced that it is not racist."
There are many people in Greece who do not think there is a problem with the Roma but there treatment is more than enough proof of their persecution simply for what the Roma used to be identified with.