Text topic: Culture and Society
Text author: Драган М. Тодоровић
In the religious activity among the Roma population in Southeastern Serbia, church leaders of the Protestant provenience insist on faith as a new element in their self-definition: individual and group work encourage spiritual improvement through the study of the Holy Scriptures and the application of biblical principles in everyday life and behavior. Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Baptists demand “a life in quotes” and practice the “silent” prayer, without dancing and verbal expression of feelings. For Pentecostals, the “newly-born” Christians, apart from the Bible, a special significance is assigned to the religious ritual: a subjective, deeply emotional experience is emphasized as well as giving-in to the “leadership” of the Holy Spirit during the worshipping service. The paper presents observations from the in-depth interviews conducted with 60 baptized Roma, as well as 14 Roma and non-Roma religious leaders. The data was acquired based on the standardized procedure with Roma believers and non-Roma and Roma leaders of Protestant religious communities in Southeastern Serbia (Christian Baptist Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Adventist Church, and Evangelical Pentecostal Church).