Journal article Open Access

Tri modeli tserkovno-gosudarstvennykh otnoshenij v sovremennoj Rossii [Three models of Church-State Relations in Contemporary Russia]

Stoeckl, Kristina

This article looks at state‑religion relations in Russia at two levels: legal and political. After an introductory overview of the development of religious freedom legislation in Russia since the fall of the USSR, I analyze the current model of religion‑state relations in Russia. I then move from the legal to the political plane and argue that in Russia not one, but three models of religion‑state relations are at play, which coexist and in part contradict each other. These three models are: one, in which the Russian Orthodox Church tries to act as a partner of the state and a representative of a majority; a cooperation model, in which the Russian Orthodox Church presents itself as a minority in need of protection; and a disestablishment model, in which the Russian Orthodox Church acts like an antagonist of the state engaged in a «culture war.» I conclude that all three models co‑ exist and are complicated even further by adjacent legislation, ideology and bureaucracy.

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