Religious education in modern Russia

Authored by: Elena Romanova

The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415536301
eBook ISBN: 9780203106075
Adobe ISBN: 9781136256424

10.4324/9780203106075.ch38

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Abstract

At present, the population census is the only source of comprehensive information on the people of Russia, but the official census has never highlighted ideological self-identity (including religious adherence). Therefore, census records from 2002 and 2010 are hardly useful to analyze religious affiliation, ethnicity, or languages spoken. The federal law “On the All-Russia Population Census” provides a limited list of approved questions, but none of these reveal much information about religion. Moreover, answering many of the census questions is optional and thus much information that might be gathered is omitted. Thus, for example, answers relating to “nationality” inthe2002 census were either absurd (“hobbits” and “elves” were some answers) or quite pretentious, as when over 140,000 Russians referred to themselves as Cossacks. Meanwhile, references to nationality, ethnicity, or ideological identity (Orthodox) are non-natural in terms of history and the contemporary public and political environment.

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