Features of Roma Religiosity: Is it only mimicry?

Gellert Gyetvai, Zoltán Rajki


We often hear that Romanies are not religious, or if they appear to be religious, it is only a mask. However, many times, when we speak about this theme, we speak about something which is rarely researched. Up to recently we have not had proper data to take an appropriate position on Romany religiosity. However, recent studies have indicated that Romanies, as far back as the 1500’s, latched on to life in various Christian churches, and this connection was by intrinsic religiosity, and that intrinsic religiosity is probably unbroken. In this study we would like to present some previously unknown sources about early Romany religiosity, which make it obvious that the former academic viewpoint on Roma non-religiosity is not tenable. Next we would like to present some tables from a representative sociological research in Hungary, demonstrating that the expansive Romany Evangelical Movement produces very radical changes in the Roma’s lifestyle and thinking, which are also very religious.


Gypsy, Romany, religion, movement

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20413/rascee.2016.9.1.50-67


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