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Russian Culture: A Look At Its Religion And Art

1216 words - 5 pages

Mankind has always aspired to be the largest, biggest, strongest, highest, essentially the best in everything. This is not untrue for the Russians who have had the largest country in the world for quite some time now. Russia covers one-sixth of the entire world's land mass and has had a significant part in modern history. However, in order to understand why a country has become what it is now, one must look at its culture. A country's culture not only reflects its citizens now but also its history and future.Many things reflect Russia's diverse culture but two main things are art and the church. Like many other countries, the church has played a great role in the formation of Russia. Russia's main church is known as the Russian Orthodox Church, which is about one thousand years old and roughly half of the country's population belongs to it. However, the vast majority of Orthodox believers do not attend church on a regular basis. Also most Russians don't adhere strictly to a single belief. Instead, they combine traditional faiths with other alternative beliefs. Among these are witchcraft and astrology, which are especially popular among young people. Russians have also turned to numerous new beliefs, sects, and religious denominations. Nonetheless, the Russian Orthodox Church is widely respected by both believers and nonbelievers, who see it as a symbol of Russian heritage and culture.The Russian Orthodox Church was originally one of the metropolitanates of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It was not until 1448 that the Russian Church became independent of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It then continued to gain strength as the Russian state became stronger. Its role as the single unifying factor of the Russian people during the feudal divisions and during the Tartar invasions made it even more an integral part of Russian culture. People looked towards to church during those times and even now for a source of comfort. Even during the reign of the czars, they had to be ordained by the church as God's chosen one in order to 'rightfully' hold the throne. Additionally its contributions during war and the periods of restorations that occur after war have given it a powerful statue throughout Russia's history. The most recent example of this was during WWII when the church was originally heavily suppressed by the Soviet government, but because of its contributions to the war, restrictions were relaxed and now people can enjoy more religious freedom then they have had for decades.Other religious groups that inhabit Russia include the Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, and Buddhists. The Muslims form the second largest religious group in Russia. They are concentrated mostly in the ethnic republics of Tartarstan and Bashkortostan in the middle Volga region, and in the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, Alania (North Ossetia), Kabardino-Balkaria, and Dagestan. The Jews and Christians are dispersed throughout the country and the Buddhists live...

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