(In)visible Migrants: the Nazarene Emigration to North America during Communism in Yugoslavia Cover Image

(Не)видљиви мигранти: миграције назарена у Северну Америку током комунизма у Југославији
(In)visible Migrants: the Nazarene Emigration to North America during Communism in Yugoslavia

Author(s): Aleksandra Đurić-Milovanović
Subject(s): Geography, Regional studies, Studies in violence and power, Post-War period (1950 - 1989), History of Communism, Other Christian Denominations, Migration Studies, Ethnic Minorities Studies
Published by: Етнографски институт САНУ
Keywords: migration; religion; Nazarenes; Yugoslavia; North America;

Summary/Abstract: The migration of religious minorities from the region of Southeast Europe to North America was not in the focus of ethno-anthropological, sociological and historiographical research until recently. In the last two decades, the main focus in migration studies was on labor and economic migration, and only indirectly to the religious identity of migrants. This paper discusses the migration of one neo-Protestant religious minority – the Nazarenes, who emigrated massively from Yugoslavia to North America after the Second World War. The Nazarenes were pacifists, refusing to bear arms, take an oath, or to be members of political organizations. By adhering to their strict religious beliefs, the Nazarenes came into conflict with the state authorities. After the Second World War, the communist state considered Nazarenes as disloyal citizens and a threat to the government. From 1949, the Nazarenes were condemned to severe prison sentences in the worst prisons such as Goli оtok. In this period, the illegal emigration of Nazarenes to North America started. The material collected for the purposes of this paper came to be the result of empirical research, conducted in the United States (March-June 2015) with members of the Nazarene community who emigrated from Yugoslavia between 1950 and 1975. Emphasizing the role of religion in the process of migration, as well as the transformation of the community after several decades in their new setting, this paper analyzes the oral history of emigration of the Nazarenes during communism, where emigration is seen as 'survival strategy' for this religious minority.

  • Issue Year: LXV/2017
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 669-686
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Serbian