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Политическа трансформация и религиозна изява
Political Transformation and Manifestation of Religious Behavior

Author(s): Evgenia Troeva
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: The paper presents a case-study of a religious brotherhood of young men, founded in 1998 in Southern Moldovan region with numerous Bulgarian and Gagauz (Turkish-speaking Orthodox) populations. Reflecting this multiethnic background, the leader of the religious brotherhood, Vitalij, has mixed Gagauz-Russian-Bulgarian origins. He sees his ‘mission’ as struggling to fulfill the prophecies of Russian Orthodox saint, St. Seraphim of Sarov, among other the union of the Orthodox and the Slav world around Russia, the rejection of the secular state and its substitution for a „divinely ordained“ power as a means to prevent the anticipated coming of the Antichrist. Following his directives, the members of the brotherhood erect huge crosses at the entrances of the villages in the whole area in question. These crosses are considered as „miracle-working“ – i.e. bringing rain, the main problem of the region being drought. The Turks are treated from the brotherhood as enemies and the activated relations of Turkish agencies with the Turkish-speaking Gagauz are interpreted as a veiled form of Islamizing policies. The brotherhood also opposed resistance to the ideas of unification with Romania. The founding of the religious brotherhood can be viewed as a specific reaction to the crisis in the ex-Soviet republics after the disintegration of the USSR. Tensions on this multiple (state, regional, ethnic, linguistic) border, as well as new national pressures on uncertain identities led part of the population to seek the solution of their problems in a fundamentalist variety of Orthodoxy.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 5-18
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Bulgarian