Miroshnikova E.M., Sgibneva O.I. Religious Policies of the Secular State in Terms of Religious Diversity

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2017.3.9

Elena M. Miroshnikova

Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor, Chief Researcher, Research Center  for  Cultural  and  Religious  Studies,

Leningrad  State  University  named  after A.S.  Pushkin

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Peterburgskoe shosse, 10, 196605 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Olga I. 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 authors substantiate the need for a clear strategy of state religious policy in Russia drawing on contemporary sociological studies conducted in Eastern and Central Europe, in several other countries. Many of these countries as the Russian Federation are multi-religious. For analysis the authors chose the results of sociological research carried out in 2013-2017 by the two major international research centres: Global Restrictions on Religion Rise Modestly in 2015, Reversing Downward Trend (Pew Research Center); Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe (Pew Research Center); Promoting Religious Freedom and Peace through Cross-Cultural Dialogue (Italian Institute for International Political Studies – ISPI). The results of sociological studies show that in modern conditions the religious factor increasingly affecting social, economic, political and cultural spheres of society, its conflictogenity potential is manifested where there is no settlement of interreligious and Church-state relations. In countries with high religious restrictions and religious intolerance is increasing the level of social tension, declining economic performance, falling innovation activity. A dangerous trend of rising religious restrictions has been fixed by sociologists since 2015. Further dynamics of religious oppression and restrictions may become a serious brake on development. Under these conditions there is the need for a dialogue, search of ways of peaceful coexistence in religious diversity for what thought-out government religious policy is important where a speial role is casted to education, including religious one. The experience of countries characterized by religious diversity shows the positive potential of the cooperative model of relations of the secular state and religious organizations. However  in Russia there have been created the basic preconditions for its formation. Development of state religious policy is an important condition of harmonization of relations between the state and religions, strengthening of state security of the country and its civilizational identity.

Key words: religious policy, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, social intolerance, tolerance, dialogue, state-confessional relations.

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