“Rebuilding Ties That Existed Long Ago“: Experiences of Finnish Roma during Missionary Work in Estonia
Keywords:Roma, ethnic identity, interaction, Pentecostalism, missionary work
This article analyses Finnish Roma experiences of interaction with Roma in Estonia, in the period after the historic fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 through to the present. The research data rely on semi-structured interviews and informal conversations, as well as indirect observations of Finnish Roma missionising activities. The results show that Roma identity was seen as a unifying factor and a source of a feeling of belonging, but not as the major factor driving mission. The driving force of the mission stems from the urge to evangelise, inherent in how Pentecostal teaching is lived and directed. This study contributes to the understanding of the interplay of ethnic identity and spirituality in Roma communities in the context of missionising, as well as the role of missionising for the missionaries themselves.
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