Religions (Jul 2021)

Work with Youth in the Russian Orthodox Church in the Contemporary Period

  • Elena Grunt,
  • Ilya Levchenko

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070499
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 7
p. 499

Abstract

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Modern Russia is undergoing changes, including religion. In the Soviet Union, in contrast to the Western world, there was not only an active and rapid social secularization, but also a violent atheization of the population. As for the youth, due to the notorious atheism, there was a lack of youth’s religiosity. After the collapse of the USSR, it became necessary to implement effective measures so that Orthodoxy could adequately respond to the “challenge of the time”. Under these conditions, the organization of work with youth in the ROC began to revive. The major research objective was to study the Russian Orthodox Church’s main forms of work with youth in the post-Soviet period. Our research was conducted in the Ural region, one of the largest regions of the Russian Federation. The research methodology used a qualitative approach (in-depth interviews). Our research, based on informants’ opinions, has identified three forms of groups who work with the Russian youth through the Russian Orthodox Church. They are: traditional church forms (organizing groups for the study of the Holy Scriptures, doctrinal (catechism) classes, missionary activities, etc.), traditional secular forms (children’s and youth’s camps, young family clubs, sports and military-patriotic clubs, addiction prevention and social projects, etc.) and innovative forms (Internet projects, Internet communities, Orthodox forums, Orthodox cafes, bars, etc.). Our study has revealed that religious phenomena and manifestations of religiosity are observed in totally different areas, such as cultural, economic, educational, leisure, etc. The study has elucidated that the work of the Russian Orthodox Church fits into the framework of this paradigm, thus confirming T. Luckmann’s theory.

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