Gypsies big fat departure from Catholicism

Gypsies – traditionally staunch Catholics – are leaving the Church in the UK  big numbers.

They’re joining a new Christian religion. Called Vie et Lumière in continental Europe,  it began among Gypsy Holocaust survivors.

The question is why? Why are such loyal Catholics moving away from Catholicism?

The UK Gypsies’ and Travellers’ Catholic chaplain, Fr Dan Mason explains.

He says Light and Life provides a sense of identity and belonging for many who join it.

This is “something that as Catholics we need to take seriously and look at how we can make our parishes more welcoming to all members of the community”.

There are no official statistics as to how many Gypsies have left the Catholic Church.

However Light and Life says 40% UK-based Gypsies have joined them in the past 30 years.

Witnesses say the church meetings are charismatic, involving speaking in tongues and miracle healing.

Comments from converts attest to the religion filling them with the Holy Spirit.

Some also say the Holy Spirit’s presence within them has helped them give up alcohol and “professional lying”.

Others have given up practising their family fortune telling traditions because sorcery and witchcraft are forbidden by the Bible.

Members explain they prefer their religion to Catholicism because it’s based on the Bible, not “man made”.

For example, reconciliation is wrong, they say, because the Bible says we shouldn’t tell our sins to anyone but God.

They also want to include others in their church.

“It’s not just the Gypsies God wants to save” a pastor says.

“England and Britain as a nation are going against the standards and principles of God in a big way. So we hope to see a revival and our people saved – but we want everyone to be saved.”



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