“God is my bosom buddy”: experiencing faith and the role of ethnicity in Roma and Kaale missionizing among Roma in Estonia and Latvia
This article draws on ethnographic fieldwork materials in the form of participant observation and interviews and looks at the mission encounter between the Kaale (Finnish Roma) missionaries and the traditionally Lutheran, Russian Orthodox or Catholic Roma in Estonia and the Vidzeme region in Latvia. The aim of the article is to discuss the role of ethnicity in the mission work conducted by the Kaale and by the local Roma. I demonstrate how the usage of ethnic elements and a culture specific approach in mission relates to bodily and emotionally experiencing God’s presence among the born-again Roma community in this region and how it impacts the success of the mission. Pentecostalism is known for its promise of equality of all peoples before God and at the same time for accommodating its proselytizing message to different conditions, fitting its mission to the local people and situation. This becomes also apparent in the current case where in the multicultural and multilingual mission setting sensations and aesthetics take up an especially important role.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Eva-Liisa Roht-Yilmaz
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