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Gypsy Dancing Club

Throughout much of Russia, Gypsies (also called Roma) are often portrayed as thieves and drug dealers. Their nomadic existence has never allowed for much formal education, and Gypsy children may find themselves entrenched in the same cycle of poverty and crime as their parents. Once church in Novokujbyshev is striving to change that, while also preserving some distinctive aspects of Gypsy culture. Novokujbyshev United Methodist Church, which began as a ministry to drug addicts, has started a Gypsy Dancing Club for children. Elena, the woman who created the Gypsy Dancing Club, for many years blamed the Gypsies for her daughters’ addiction to drugs and developed a deep hatred of the Gypsy community. By encouraging these children to take pride in their heritage, the Gypsy Dancing Club offers them a path toward a brighter future. The club has already performed in Moscow and on television, and their reputation is growing, all because one woman took to heart Christ’s admonition to love not just your neighbor, but your enemy as well. An idea that has, and will continue, to change the world.