09 July 2013

There is now no Greek, or Roma

Recently, I came across an article (on FaceBook, where else!) on race. In it’s entirety, it reads like this:

Contrary to popular opinion there is only one race; the human race. According to the Bible, all mankind can trace their origin back to our first parents Adam & Eve. All mankind is made in the image of God and deserves the respect and dignity of that image. The only time the natural right of that image is forfeited is if a capital crime has been committed. Christian Church, black or white, Asian or Latino, male or female, free or bond, we must get over our love affair with ourselves and look to Christ alone who"...wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9). In the end, one could argue for two distinctions within the human race - those who live in the first Adam and those who are in the Last Adam. (For more from this site go here.) 
Interestingly, on the same day I read an article in the Prague Daily Monitor about the “Separate, and Unequal” treatment of Roma children here in the Czech Republic.  

It seems that Roma (also known as Gypsies) children are often put in “Practical” schools that cater to the intellectually handicapped or Roma-only schools. Sounds strangely like the segregated schools of the US in times gone by (some might want to argue that those times are not yet over).The article states that 
Local municipalities don’t want to change the status quo, and the majority of Czechs don’t want their children to go to school with Roma,...”  “Roma are satisfied because the schools aren’t so difficult. Teachers are satisfied because if they have a ‘problem’ child, he or she can go somewhere else. Practical school teachers are satisfied because they have well-paid jobs.

But is this an equality issue? Not really. “No education means no job and being supported by the state,” said Martina Parizkova, a media officer for Amnesty International. “We are trying to explain that this problem has consequences for society in general.” So, it’s an economic issue.

But God says it’s a creation issue. Genesis 1:27 states, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Is God a Roma or a Czech? Mark 12:31 gives us a little info about how to use the info given us in Genesis 1. Mark writes, "The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Neither of these verses addresses distinctions in the church (although there are several verses that do). The point is that men are men; not black men, Roma men, slavic men, caucasian men. (the same goes for women).

This will be a hard-fought battle in the Czech Republic. Just last week there were anti-Roma riots in the south Bohemian city of Ceske Budejovice. There were injuries and there were arrests.

I cannot change Czech society. I can't even do much about American society. But God can. Prayer and the setting of examples are called for. Evangelism is called for. Roma need Jesus. So do non-Roma.

PostScript: Some time ago (in March 2013) I posted a piece on race in America. The link to that is here. After writing this current piece, this came across my screen. It's worth a read. It asks the question: "What Post-Racial America?"


  1. Excellent articles. Race relations and racial inequality are things I rarely thought about as a white American who has always lived in very caucasian communities. Now as we prepare to bring two African daughters into our family I look at the issues in a whole new light. I'd be lying if I didn't say that these issues keep me awake some nights, worrying about the future. I don't believe for a second that we are in a "post-racial" America, and so long as we are all fallen sinners in need of a Savior, I'd don't know that there ever will be a "post-racial" America.

  2. That's a reality-based assessment of things. Only Christ can heal these deep rifts and wounds.

  3. Racism either growing or becoming more public in Czech Republic.