BEING BAPTIST AND BEING CZECH: A SPECIFIC IDENTITY IN ROMANIA

In Romania, the Baptist denomination includes, according to the 2002 census, about 130,000 believers, subsequent to the Pentecostal denomination. Areas having a large number of followers are Banat and some parts of Transylvania; besides these, there can be added large urban areas such as Bucharest, Timisoara, Constanta, Cluj-Napoca, Oradea, and Arad. In terms of ethnicity, Romanians represent the majority, followed by the Hungarians (Hungarian Baptist Convention). One of the smallest minorities in Romania, that is the Czechs, also provides a number of believers, in the village of SfÎnta Elena (Coronini Township, Caras-Severin County) being the only Czech Baptist community in our country. Here, besides Catholics, a Baptist community is to be found, twice as small and of fairly recent origin. In the following, we intend to outline its image, based on field observations and interviews carried out between 2005-2010 (All of these have been materialised in our book, Istorie si memorie În comunitatile cehilor din Clisura Dunarii). We paid a particular interest in the neo-Protestant group, in order to identify means of building the image of another group with a different faith, considering the double minority, ethnic and religious status. Also, we tried to capture the ratio of forces between two different faith groups that were facing the same economic and social problems, problems that have caused the depopulation of villages, by massive migration of people to the Czech Republic. Key Words: Baptist, Evangelical, Czechs, Banat, religion, identity, Catholic.

© SACRI The Academic Society for the Research of Religions and Ideologies Winter 2011. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The use of this website is subject to the following Terms of Use