Forced conversion is the adoption of a different religion or the adoption of irreligion under duress. Someone who has been forced to convert to a different religion or irreligion may continue, covertly, to adhere to the beliefs and practices which were originally held, while outwardly behaving as a convert. Crypto-Jews, crypto-Christians, crypto-Muslims and crypto-Pagans are historical examples of the latter.
Pressure from missionary groups can force indigenous peoples to convert from a traditional religion. This may be associated with taking of children from families and putting them into missionary schools. The problem can also take more subtle forms when individuals are under obligation to convert in order to be more effectively assimilated into social groups of their choice, whether to be able to marry or to avoid impediments to the advancement of a career in business or in politics.
The Gypsies cannot be said to have a religion of their own. They have usually adopted the faiths of the countries in which they live. Among the Roma can be found Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, and Muslims. Many prefer to carry out religious rituals in their own homes or in the context of folk observances. The best known Romany religious festivals are the annual pilgrimages to Saintes Maries de la Mer on the Mediterranean coast of France and Sainte Anne de Beaupre in Quebec, Canada. In the former, the Roma pay homage to Sara the Black on the 24-26 of May. In Quebec, the Roma pay homage to Saint Anne on July 26. These annual religious festivals serve as social gatherings for the Roma.