Romani Studies

The forgotten children of Abraham: Iglesia Evangelica Misionera Biblica Rom of Buenos Aires

Romani Studies (2011), 21, (2), 161–176.

Abstract

For a long time Roma/Gypsies have been considered non-religious and apolitical. The unprecedented, associative, movements of the 'Roma-organisations' and of Pentecostal churches are now compelling us to revise our understanding of the Romani/Gypsy identifications. In Buenos Aires (Argentina), where about 70,000 Gitanos from different communities live, Pentecostalism has become a source of empowerment for the Romani Kalderasha community. On the one side it has encouraged and strengthened old and new networks, revived the language and improved the education level among the Roma/Gypsies, and on the other side it has also made new symbolical strategies possible. Presenting themselves as the children of Abraham's third wife Ketura and as part of the Christian genealogy enables them to renegotiate and rephrase ethnic boundaries, and thus their status in the society.

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Author details

Carrizo-Reimann, Agustina