YAKUNIN V.N. Religious Organizations in Togliatti (1989–1998)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.2.13

Vadim N. Yakunin

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Department of Humanities and Socio-Economic Disciplines, Moscow Institute of Art and Industry,

2-ya Baumanskaya St, 9/23s3, 105005 Moscow, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article examines the activities of non-Orthodox religious organizations of 1989– 1998 in the city of Togliatti before and after the adoption in 1990 of the USSR Law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” and the RSFSR Law “On Freedom of Religion.” The regulation of religious activity by the state, according to these laws, was not provided for, the authorities ceased to interfere in the affairs of religious organizations, which received full independence in resolving internal church issues, and citizens could freely register religious societies. Religious organizations, new to Togliatti, inevitably took advantage of this.

Methods and materials. The work used materials from the state, municipal, diocesan archives, and the author’s personal archive: reports of officials, both secular and ecclesiastical, on the religious situation in the Samara region and the city of Togliatti, memoirs of the leaders of religious organizations, periodicals.

Analysis. If in 1989 there were 2 registered religious organizations in Togliatti and 2 more carried out their activities illegally, then in 1997 there were already 34 of them. They very actively positioned themselves; some were registered under the guise of public organizations. Almost all religious organizations used youth houses, palaces of culture, cinemas, and libraries, assembly halls of colleges and schools for prayer meetings and Sunday schools.

Results. Religious organizations attracted residents of Togliatti with a system of mutual assistance in their structures. Representatives of some traditional and new religious organizations formed in Togliatti in the 90s of the 20th century were engaged in charitable activities. Mostly, they were attended by those who saw the church not only as a doctrinal institution, but also as a social one. Despite the relatively small number, they showed activity, which alarmed the representatives of both the ROC and Islam.

Key words: churches, clergy, charity, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists.

Citation. Yakunin V.N. Religious Organizations in Togliatti (1989–1998). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2023, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 147-158. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.2.13

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Religious Organizations in Togliatti (1989–1998) by Yakunin V.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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