Accepted paper:

Migrating to the right place, but to the wrong time? Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians in Israel and the transformation of religious time.

Author:

Omer Hacker (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Paper short abstract:

Migration studies tended to emphasize the transition between places. The current paper would combine the transition of holy places and holy times, through the case of Eritreans and the Ethiopian Church in Israel - and how Sabbath became their main worship day.

Paper long abstract:

The current paper contributes to the anthropological research on migration and religious changes by considering the effect of holy time and holy place, based on ethnography I conducted during the years 2014-2018 at the Ethiopian Church and among Eritrean and Ethiopian Christians in Israel.

At the heart of the transformation process is the tension between the services of religious institution and the needs of religious immigrants' community, i.e, the Ethiopian Church that has a persistent presence in the Christian Holy Land (today Israel and Palestine), and the extensive migration from Eritrea to Israel since 2005. These Eritrean immigrants are integrated into the Israeli labor market but due to their poor salaries they required to work many hours and so had little to religious activity.

This creation of a shared religious community for Ethiopians and Eritreans, despite the long-standing confrontation between the two countries, brought to a dramatic religious change: adaptation of the religious calendar of the Ethiopians and Eritreans to fit the Israeli working week - which based on the Jewish calendar and set Shabbat as the main day of rest.

Therefore, I will claim that the desynchronization of working time and religious time can cause to a change in the latter, and that this process may be followed by emphasizing other religious elements, in this case the holy place.

panel P111
Trapped in space, stuck in time? Exploring irregular migration, time and im/mobility