Sgibneva O.I. Religious conversions in contemporary Russia


Olga Ivanovna Sgibneva

Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor, Department of Sociology,

Volgograd State University

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Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article analyzes the reasons of origin and features of activity of new religious movements (NRM) in Russia. On the basis of the theory of religious conversion developed by J. Lofland, R. Stark, U. Bainbridge, the approach to the typology of new religious movements at the federal and regional levels, considering peculiarities of confessional doctrine and religious practice of recruiting adherents, is proposed. Now new religious movements make no more than 1 % from all religious organizations registered in Russia. Those who carry out requirements of the Russian legislation, have the same rights as the large religious organizations historically implanted in Russian society. Church of the Virgin Mary “Sovereign”, some neo-pagan communities can be attributed to the psychopathological conversion model. The organizations of Church of Scientology and Church of Association refer to enterprise model. The Society of Krishna Consciousness (Vaishnavism), Church of the Christ, the Salvation Army can be attributed to social model; and Church of Last Behest – to the model of the “normalized” Revelation. The author examines the new religious movements as the objective phenomenon, as response to the needs of society which demands a scientific study. The comprehension of problems of formation and functioning of NRM contributes to a better understanding of the modern social relations.

Key words: freedom of conscience, religious situation, religious associations, new religious movements, theory of religious conversions, missionary, proselytism.   

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Religious cons in contemporary Russia by Sgibneva O.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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