Elements of Folklore in the Narratives of the Pentecostal Gypsies Cover Image

Фолклорни елементи в разказите на циганите евангелисти
Elements of Folklore in the Narratives of the Pentecostal Gypsies

Author(s): Yana Moroz
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Sciences, Language and Literature Studies, Customs / Folklore, Sociology, Theology and Religion, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Sociology of Culture
Published by: Софийски университет »Св. Климент Охридски«
Keywords: Gypsies; Roma; Evangelic; Narratives; Testimonies; Pentecostal

Summary/Abstract: The oral stories of the Gypsies-evangelists of “Fire Church” (Pentecostal Church) in Sofia have a number of differences compared to other religious stories. While the term "testimonies" is associated with evidence for the presence and help of God, to the gypsies the term testimonies includes all miraculous and religious experiences. The testimonies are needed for several reasons: to simplify the complex structure of the Christian doctrine, to be easier to understand and communicate to other members God’s miracles, such as healing, omen, meeting God and being in the otherworld. Due to the requirements of the denomination. there are no saints, no Virgin Mary and Angels in the stories. Thus the believer has a more important role, almost comparable to the apostles, he/she is closer to God. God is no longer unattainable and frightful but close and kind, willing to help. The testimony stories include rites of passage and initiation. They bring together different groups of Gypsies in one unity- religiously and socially. The narratives have educational purpose and indicate the "right" religion for the Gypsies. After going through an initiation (and telling the story about it), the believers can take their place as complete and legitimate members of the church and thus members of the society.