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Autres groupes religieux

Islam has been rooted in Russia for centuries and numbers millions of followers, mainly Tatars, Bashkirs, Chechens and other Caucasian peoples.

Most Muslims in Russia are Sunni, but there are also Shia Azeris. Many Sufis are to be found amongst the Muslims in Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia.

In addition to the 4,551 Moslem religious organisations registered as legal entities, between 3,000-4,000 unregistered religious groups exist (therefore in total in Russia between 7,000-8,000 Muslim religious associations).

According to 2010 data from the Russian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion, 5% of those interviewed stated they were Muslim. According to a 2012 survey by the SREDA research centre, 6.5% of the Russian population say they are Muslim, but the number of practising Muslims does not exceed 42%.

There is no administrative and spiritual centre uniting all the Muslims in Russia. Three central religious organisations represent Muslims : the Spiritual Leadership of Muslims of the Russian Federation (Moscow) consists of approximately 400 regional religious organisations, the Central Muslim Spiritual Board (Ufa, Bashkortostan) and the Coordinating Centre of Muslims of the Northern Caucasus. Some large regional religious organisations, particularly in Tatarstan, are autonomous.

Buddhism is the traditional religion in the republics of Tuva, Kalmykia and Buryatia. Recently, Buddhist communities have emerged in Moscow, St. Petersburg and in some other major cities.

There is no central religious organisation recognised by the entirety of Russian Buddhists. The largest central religious organisation is called the Sangha, a traditional Russian Buddhist community (Buryatia).

The Old Believers : This refers to Orthodox religious associations separated from the official Orthodox Church during the ecclesiastical reforms of Patriarch Nikon in the mid-seventeenth century. The Old Believers do not consider themselves separate from the Church ; instead, they believe they are a true Orthodox Church, with the official Russian Orthodox Church having, in their view, descended into heresy.

There are two branches of Old Believers. The Russian Orthodox Church of the Old Believers is the largest with 10 dioceses and, at its head, Cornelius, Old Orthodox Metropolitan of Moscow and of all Russia. As for the “priestless” (bespopovtsy), they feel that the real hierarchy disappeared during the apocalyptic times of the Antichrist’s reign.

Catholics are few and far between in Russia. Among the Catholic faithful, there are many Germans, Poles, Lithuanians and other peoples for whom Catholicism is the traditional religion. There are four dioceses (eparchies) making up the ecclesiastical province (metropolitanate).

Protestantism is present in Russia in its various forms. Historical, including Lutheran, forms of Protestantism by large stem from Baltic and Germanic peoples for whom it is the national religion. Baptists and Evangelical Christians have been present in Russia since the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, there was a significant increase in followers of Evangelical-Pentecostal churches and Seventh Day Adventists. Despite the impressive number of registered Protestant religious organisations (over 4,000), the number of followers is modest, about 1% of the Russian population.

In the 2000s, Protestant religious organisations created the Advisory Council of Protestant Church Leaders in Russia, bringing together Baptists, Evangelical and Evangelical-Pentecostal Christians, Seventh Day Adventists and Presbyterians.

Judaism is poorly represented in Russia, but its presence is secular. There are two central Jewish religious organisations : the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR), mainly Hasidic, and the Congress of the Jewish Religious Organisations and Associations in Russia (CJROAR).

D 18 avril 2013    AMikhaïl Chakhov

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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