Religion in Russia

According to the Constitution of the Russian Federation (effective 1993) the country is defined as a secular state with a freedom and the equality of all religions, though during the recent years the Government imposed restrictions on certain groups.

Historically, Orthodox Christianity was adopted in Russia since the 10 th century. Nowadays it is the dominant religious group, more than half the population adhere to the Russian Orthodox Church, the second largest religious community in Russia is represented by numerous Muslim associations mostly concentrated in the Republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan and the region of Caucasus. Depending on demographic, ethnic and other reasons, other religious communities of Russia include Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Evangelicals, Old Believers, Roman Catholics, Krishnaites, Buddhists, Judaists, and Unified Evangelical Lutherans.

The era of communism during the Soviet times has brought ateistic ideology that should have been followed by everyone in the country. Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, state persecution of religion came to an end in Russia.

During the recent decades Russia has experienced the religious renaissance bringing back the religious traditions to Russian families. The national surveys and statistics and the religiuos institutions evidence have distinguished the growth of sacramental devotions belonging to different religious groups living in Russia (such as christening, holy Euharist and wedding traditions on Orthodox church, the rituals of circumcision within muslim and jewish groups, traditional funeral rites in other religions presented in Russia).

Since the time of the establishment of the monarchy in Russia under Tsar Ivan the Terrible, the first Russian state was inseparable from Orthodoxy. Many centuries later, today according to one of the Russian state traditions the newly elected president receives the blessings of the Patriarch, this holy ceremony takes place in the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow's Kremlin, which was originally the chapel of the Russian Tsars.

Nowadays, along with the religious schools at certain religious institutions (churches, mosques, etc.) that currently provide the corresponding learning discipline, the Government of Russia plans to further introduce a new discipline to current school programs which is supposed to provide fundamentals of religious cultures and secular ethics of the population.