“Converted Co-Ethnics”: Romanian Migrants in the Northern Serbian Province of Vojvodina
AuthorsĐurić Milovanović, Aleksandra
Article (Published version)
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In this paper, my case study highlights Romanian neo-Protestant migrants from Serbia who either returned to their “home country,” or work on different missionary activities among their co-ethnics after the fall of communism. To a large degree, members of the Romanian minority in Serbia belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church, which is the dominant confession, then a smaller number to the Romanian Greek-Catholic church and various neo-Protestant communities, such as the Nazarene, the Adventist, the Baptist, and the Pentecostal community. Starting from the hypothesis that the conversion of the Romanians in Serbia to neo-Protestantism is closely related to issues of migration, whether the conversion occurred while living abroad or they were, for religious reasons, forced to leave the country, the focus of this paper is transformation of social relations among converted Romanians and their co-ethnics. Based on the results from ethnographic research conducted in Serbia in 2014–2015, I will f...ocus on how migrants perceive themselves and their co-ethnic attitudes towards them. Becoming a part of transnational religious community and emphasizing supra-nationality, the Romanian neo-Protestants perceive themselves as a part of “worldwide brotherhood,” adopting some new forms of collective identity while distancing themselves from the Romanian Orthodox tradition. Thus, religious otherness raises questions of the attitude of the Romanian local community towards the Romanian neo-Protestant migrants and their new religious, cultural, and social practices.
Keywords:migration / Romanian neo-Protestants / co-ethnic interaction / co-ethnic relations / return migration / conversion / transnationalism
Source:Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe, 2020, 40, 2, 30-47
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