This paper analyzes the way in which religion bolstered Roma people’s demands for civic emancipation and strengthened their ethnic and cultural identity in 1970s and 1980s Romania. Based on documents mainly from the former secret police, the Securitate, the paper is divided into two main parts. The “rst is a general overview of the state of the Roma people in communist Romania and the main initiatives for their civic emancipation. Next, the paper uses the perspective of “lived religion” to study three elements that informed the religious life of Roma during the 1970s and 1980s. These are the persistence of religious beliefs, the creation of Gypsy Neo-Protestant churches, and religious pilgrimage. Moreover, the paper will show that religious practice strengthened ethnic identity, favoured individual agency, and raised questions about equal rights and religious freedom.