Volume 6, Issue 2, 2014
Modern Russia is in Search of a Secular Model of Relationships Between Religions and the State
The purpose of this article is to identify how modern Russia can build good relationships between multiple Russian religions and the state. At present there are many obstacles standing in the way of achieving this goal. The article includes a great many statistics, and discusses political, social, and religious views of the issue.
The working Russian Constitution provides major legal provisions for democratic relationships between religions and the state. The law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations” (1997) clarified constitutional provisions. It should not forgotten that Russia is a secular state claiming to respect all religions. No doubt the supremacy of Orthodoxy in Russia after 1721 and the extreme atheism that arose in the Soviet Union after 1917 influenced people’s minds greatly. While the countries in Western Europe were moving from religiosity to secularism, Russia was developing the other way around. But while respecting all religions, Russia should not forget to be mindful of extremism. Religious associations themselves are likewise uneasy about the danger presented by certain mystic, neo-pagan, and destructive sects. The author argues that the best compromise between religions and the modern Russian state can
only be achieved on the basis of equality and freedom.