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Religion and Forced Displacement in Russia

Article by Roman Lunkin

July 23, 2020

Religion and Forced Displacement in Russia


The Russian Federation is a unique example of a country where changes in society’s cultural atmosphere and religious consciousness depended more on forced displacement than on inner natural changes. The specifics of the religious situation in Russia include the combination of two historical factors: 1) the unprecedented migration waves that affected the territory of the present-day Russian Federation during the twentieth century, both before and after the revolution of 1917, and 2) the anti-religious campaigns that were more devastating on Russian territory than in the other republics of the Soviet Union.


Waves of forced migration, the deportation of entire nations under Stalin, and the migration and emigration of the 1990s all directly affected the religious landscape of Russia. First of all, the ethnic composition of many faiths has changed. For example, the ethnic composition of the Lutheran and Catholic communities changed and became more Russian. Whereas at the beginning of the 20th century it was mainly the German, Polish and Finnish populations that identified as Lutheran and Catholic, from the 1990s ethnic Russians came to make up a larger proportion of adherents to these groups, because of conversions due to the weakness of Orthodoxy, the emigration of Germans, decreasing numbers of Poles and Finns, and, in general, because of the growing interest of Russians in other confessions.


During the Soviet period, all faiths were under pressure due to the state’s anti-religious policy. However, the period after perestroika and especially the 1990s was a time of religious growth, and it became evident that the Russian Orthodox Church had lost its monopoly position. One of the manifestations of the new social role of Christian churches in civil society was their active work with immigrants (refugees and labour migrants). As in the European Union during the immigration crisis of 2015-2018, the position of Russian churches regarding immigrants strengthened their role in the public space and in politics, and spurred the development of their social work.


Religion, ethnicity and population

According to the preamble of the Federal Law on the Freedom of Consciousness and Religious Associations (1997), the state recognises the historical significance of Orthodox Christianity in Russian history and culture, and gives special respect to Christianity and certain other religions, namely Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. The Russian authorities divide ll faiths into ‘traditional’ and ‘nontraditional’.[1] This concept, while absent from the Russian Law on Religious Freedom, has been advanced by the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus’ since 2009. Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism are deemed ‘traditional religions’, while even Old Believers, Catholics, various Protestant denominations, and many others are not.


The concept of traditional religions not only pits worshippers against each other, it also ignores the religious diversity of Russia. Today there are between five and 15 million practicing Orthodox believers in Russia, ten million Muslims, three million Protestants, 500,000 Buddhists, 200,000 Jews, 150,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses (their organisation was recognised as extremist and banned in 2017), 100,000 Hindus, and 100,000 followers of other religious faiths (e.g., there are about 10,000 Mormons in Russia).[2] Thus, Russia corresponds with the average European level of religiosity among its population, with about 20 per cent participating to some degree in the activity of religious organisations in a country of more than 140 million inhabitants.[3]


The ROC has laid claim to the exclusive right to a close relationship with the government, and accuses Catholics and Protestants of proselytising in the canonical territory that it considers its own. According to the Russian Ministry of Justice, ROC organisations are the most numerous in the country: among a total of 31,473 registered religious organisations, there are 19,471 different ROC organisations (dioceses, monasteries and communities), 3479 Protestant and 5340 Muslim organisations.[4] However, field research published by the Keston Institute in 2010s shows that Protestants and Muslims may be twice as numerous as the official figures suggest.[5] For example, evangelicals are now the second largest Christian denomination in Russia after Orthodox Christians in terms of the numbers of practicing believers and presence throughout the country (five to 15 million Orthodox and three million Evangelicals).[6] In fact, in many regions of Siberia and the Far East, the number of Protestant communities and active parishioners is higher than the number of practicing Orthodox believers.


The concept of ‘traditional religions’ is based on the fact that each ethnic group has its own culture and its own religion, but this statement contradicts the ethnic composition of modern religious organisations. In Russia, parishioners of the Russian Orthodox Church are mainly ethnic Russians, although Ukrainians and Belarussians, fellow Slavic peoples, also tend to follow Eastern Orthodoxy. At the same time, there are also other ,indigenous peoples of Russia that are historically Orthodox (some coming to the faith in the Middle Ages, others in the 19th century). An important factor is that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, regularly declares that Russian Orthodoxy is a multinational faith, and is not limited only to Russia, but also includes churches in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, the Baltic countries, Orthodox in Central Asia, Western Europe, the USA, Japan, Southeast Asia and Latin America.


Consequently, the Russian Orthodox Church cannot declare itself to be either the only religion of ethnic Russians, or exclusively a religion for ethnic Russians. The Russian Orthodox Church adapted itself to the concept of the ‘Russian world’ after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine crisis in 2014 due to the extreme politicisation of this term that became associated with ‘Russian aggression’ in Ukraine.[7]


Religionstate relations

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russian legislation on religion was gradually tightened. Until 1997, there was a law on the freedom of conscience, which was adopted under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990. Article 5 of this law proclaimed the separation of the church (religious organisations) from the state, and that the ‘state doesn’t interfere in the activity of the religious organisations’, ‘the state doesn’t finance religious organisations and the activity for the propaganda of atheism’. Article 8 gives permission for the activity of every religious community without registration.[8] There were no significant restrictions on the registration and missionary activities of religious associations. They could exist in two forms, either as a registered organisation or as a religious group that could operate freely without registration. In 1997, a new version of the law on the freedom of conscience was adopted, which proclaimed a special respect for the four traditional religions (Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism) and introduced a moratorium on new religious organisations, which could henceforth receive full rights as a legal entity only 15 years after their registration as a community. However, most of the new religions (Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, Falun Gong, Mormons, etc.) had already registered in the early 1990s. In addition, numerous new local branches of established Protestant communities circumvented this issue by claiming registration within the framework of their central organisation, and thus acquired the rights of a legal entity without delay.


The legislation was furthered tightened with the adoption in 2016 of a package of laws, better known as Yarovaya Law (the official name: The Federal Law of July 6th 2016 no. 374-FZ ‘On amendments to Federal Law ‘On countering with terrorism’ and other legal acts of the Russian Federation in the parts that constitutes the additional measures in countering terrorism and providing societal security’). The regulation of missionary activity (with ‘mission’ defined in the broadest of terms) and penalties for religious organisations preaching in public places without permission were introduced. Religious groups were henceforth obliged to provide information about themselves to local authorities, which has become a form of quasi-registration.


Anti-extremist legislation is also directly related to religious policy in Russia. The law on countering extremist activity was adopted in 2002. It contains the broadest possible definition of extremist activity, allowing law enforcement agencies to apply this law to almost any religious movement. Most of all, this law has affected Muslim communities and movements (the Hizb-ut-Tahrir movement, the followers of Said Nursi, etc. are prohibited on the territory of Russia). In 2017, all organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses were banned under this law, and many of their books and magazines, along with many Islamic ones, were included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials which is available on the website of the Ministry of Justice.[9] The reason for the prohibition of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they proclaim their religion to be true and criticise representatives of other faiths. The decision to ban them and confiscate their property was an act of intimidation against all other non-Orthodox churches.


The social partnership between ‘traditional religions’ and the state was supported in 2009 by President Dmitry Medvedev, who oversaw the introduction of military chaplains in the army, courses on the basics of different religions in schools, and the approval of the discipline of theology in higher education. 2010 saw the adoption of the law on the transfer of religious property to religious organisations, according to which churches can demand the transfer of ownership or use of buildings that were previously (mainly before the 1917 revolution) used for religious purpose; not only for worship, but also as outbuildings in monasteries. The ROC was the main beneficiary of these initiatives. The most successful projects implemented were the introduction of modules about Russia’s ‘traditional religions’ in state schools, the introduction of theology as an academic programme in universities, as well as the large-scale restitution of property to the ROC.[10]


Religion and forced displacement

There were waves of the Christian migration from outside Russia, such as, firstly, the Lutherans that became the part of Russian society in the 16th century and, secondly, the evangelical groups from Germany that arrived in Russia from the end of the 18th century. The phenomenon of emigration touched the lives of many in Russia from the beginning of the twentieth century. Members of Russian evangelical sects and Old Believers emigrated to Canada, Latin America, and the USA until the late 1980s. The third type of the migration were Stalin’s deportations to Central Asia. The main focus of this study is the impact of these migratory waves on Russian Orthodoxy, which experienced several types of change.


 Table 1. Number of immigrants. Total number of people living in a country or union republic in which they were not born, by year.[11]


Table 2. Migration waves in Russia in 1991-2016[12]


The first change concerns the fragmentation of Orthodoxy into official Orthodoxy and Orthodoxy of the Old Rite (Old Believers that separated from official Orthodoxy in the 17th century), which periodically caused waves of migrations from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century because of the persecution of the ‘old faith’. Old Believers fled to Moldova, Romania, Poland, and, within Russia, to Siberia and the Far East. Many Old Believers came to China and Latin America, whence they fled from communist China.[13] On January 9th 2018, the Fond podderzhki i sodeistviya staroobryadchestvu ‘Pravda Russkaya’ (Foundation of support and promotion of the Old Rite ‘Russian Truth’) was established.[14] The establishment of this foundation was also undertaken with the support of the authorities. Through this foundation, the authorities intend to actively help Old Believers in Russia. There is also a programme for the resettlement of Old Believers from Latin America and, if desired, from Australia and Canada, on preferential terms in Siberia and the Far East. About 130 families have already moved to the Far East, while several families from Latin America have been granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin. The appeal to Old Believers has become a symbol of ‘return to the roots’, but an alternative to the ROC.


Secondly, the migration waves deprived official Orthodoxy of human and intellectual strength. During the Soviet persecutions after 1917, the best priests, theologians, and the most active believers were killed or left the country. They settled in France, to a lesser extent in other European countries and in the United States. In 1943, a war-time initiative under Stalin  to raise patriotic spirits lead to the revival of the former state church of the Russian Empire but as the Moscow Patriarchate, whose activity was necessarily overseen by Stalin and controlled by the Soviet state. Furthermore, during the Soviet period, the Russian Church did not have the right to conduct social projects or to help people publicly in other ways, and Sunday schools were also prohibited.


The Russian Revolution of 1917 brought about a division in Russian Orthodoxy as members of the ‘White’ movement, including intellectuals, emigrated from ‘red’ Bolshevik Russia. The Russian diaspora established the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad that remained an irreconcilable critic of Soviet Russia.[15] The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad unified with the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) in 2007, and most communities of the Russian Archdiocese of the parishes of Russian tradition (about 80 parishes in France, Britain, Germany and Italy) entered the structure of the MP in 2019. This was a key event in the restoration of the Russian World, which, in the view of the ROC, refers to the spiritual identity community including Russia itself and the Russian diaspora abroad. The spiritual and cultural (and canonical after the above-mentioned reunifications) ties with Orthodox of Russian tradition objectively help the Moscow Patriarchate to overcome the Soviet legacy and build church democracy from the inside.


Thirdly, migration, deportations and Soviet atheist policies dramatically changed the ethnic character of Christianity, and showed both the ROC and Russian society as a whole that Russians could be Christians outside the framework of the Moscow Patriarchate. Before the 1917 revolution, non-Orthodox Christian churches were virtually inaccessible to the Russian population. At the moment of the collapse of the USSR, Lutherans and Catholics in Russia existed as separate disparate communities in Siberia. The deportations of the Stalin period became a consistent element of national policy, as did the ‘preventive deportations’ during WWII period. About 2.75 million people (Germans, Finns, Greeks, Romanians, Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks and others suspected of collaboration or collaboration with the Nazi army) were deported during and after WWII.[16] Although the Lutheran and Catholic communities were formally revived in the early 1990s on the basis of Polish or German cultural societies, or by gathering people with Polish, Lithuanian, etc. roots, these churches quickly became predominantly Russian in terms of the ethnicity of their parishioners. German Lutheranism was also negatively affected by the mass migration of Russian Germans to Germany in the 1990s (about 500,000 Russian Germans and 25,000 Pentecostalists emigrated),[17] so that by the early 2000s the church in Russia was in deep crisis. The beginning of 1990s and early 2000s became the heyday of the evangelical movement throughout Russia, despite the continued emigration of pastors and their families. Many Christian denominations or movements that were only for foreign citizens before 1917, such as the Salvation Army, the Reformed Church and the Methodist Church, disappeared in Soviet times and were revived as Russian churches in the 1990s. The religious boom of 1990s also saw the immigration to Russia of thousands of Ukrainian evangelical missionaries who became Russian citizens, (unlike the evangelists from the USA who mainly left Russia) and came to represent the majority of the pastors of the big Protestant churches in Russia.


 Table 3. Selected ethnicities and Christian churches in Russia[18]


Social work among various categories of migrants has become a clear manifestation of the internal development of the Russian Orthodox Church and the need to be more active in a competitive environment among churches that offer their own interpretations of ‘Russian patriotism’, detracting from the monopoly aspired to the Moscow Patriarchate. The evolution of the worldview of the Russian Orthodox Church has led to a convergence in the views of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Catholic Church on the problems of migration and adaptation, which are generally common to all categories of immigrants (both churches cooperated in helping Christians in the Middle East and helping immigrants integrate in Russia and the EU). In 2016, a joint Orthodox-Catholic humanitarian mission with the support of the Catholic Foundation ‘Kirche in Not’ visited Syria and Lebanon, and in 2017 the head of the Department of External Relations of the ROC, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, accompanied the humanitarian mission in Lebanon within the framework of dialogue with the Catholic Church.[19] Pentecostals and Baptists in Russia combine social work with evangelism and conversion, which remain as objectives when attracting the needy to church activities.


The difference between the situation in Russia and in the countries of the European Union (particularly Western Europe) is that in Russia, national communities are a part of larger Russian-speaking churches that include refugees from Ukraine or people from Caucuses and Central Asia, while in Europe over the past ten to 15 years independent national churches of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East, Turkey and Latin America have appeared, where native Europeans represent a smaller part of the converts. Many social projects, such as volunteer groups at parish level appeared when the ROC helped the refugees from Ukraine: in 2014-2015 donations amounting to 128 million Russian roubles were collected, and 22,000 refugees received direct help, while in 2015-2016 a joint project of ROC and the Billy Graham Association was undertaken to support refugees in southern regions of Russia.[20] The Orthodox church was the most active institution in the social work among displaced people, but evangelicals (Pentecostals and Baptists) also established special centers[21].


Policy perspectives

Religious organisations provide a variety of tools to effectively solve social problems, including problems associated with migration. Some churches are able to implement large-scale projects, others are focused on targeted volunteer work. The liberal, secular part of society reacted with disbelief to the work of European churches during the migration crisis, doubting that they could radically change the situation and bring benefit to society. Critics of the ROC also exists in Russia, which is partly a consequence of the Soviet atheist rule, a kind of analogue to European secularisation, in terms of the displacement of religion from public space, politics and the everyday life of people.  At the same time, the academic community, politicians, officials and journalists need to take into account the reality of the new role of religious institutions in society and their social activity. Among the recommendations related to the social work of churches are:


First, religious organisations need an individual approach to assessing their capabilities. In this case, grants or state support for the efforts of churches to work with refugees and all those in need will be much more successful in achieving their goals and helping the victims.


Second, public authorities, human rights organisations and non-profit organisations working with migrants should establish cooperation with religious institutions. Moreover, the priority should be partnership not so much at the official level, but within specific parishes and communities, and in relation to specific initiatives.


Third, the support and strengthening of religious pluralism in society constitutes a de facto recognition of the changed situation in the post-Soviet space. However, overcoming religious xenophobia and stereotypes associated with ethnic religiosity (if you are Russian, then you are inevitably Orthodox, or if Tatar, then only Muslim) remains a problem. For instance, campaigns railing against sects are organised in the mass media, while society knows little about other faiths besides Orthodoxy, and information about Islam or Buddhism is widely distributed only in the corresponding national republics of Russia (in Bashkortostan about Islam, and in Buryatia about Buddhism and shamanism, etc.).


Fourth, a significant negative factor in Russia and in the Central Asian republics is the strict control of religious activities, in particular, mission, preaching and the distribution of religious literature. Due to strict legislation and constant checks by security forces, most communities refuse to register, and exist in a semi-underground situation. Such rules do not contribute to the active inclusion of religious institutions in civil society, let alone in social projects. In this case, the state refuses to use even the potential of quite loyal registered associations, although it is unclear what harm they could bring. The regulation of missionary activity and fines cause a latent fear of any preaching and the word of God. The Soviet legacy is reflected in officials’ fear of any religion, as well as the emigration of the most active believers in the 1980s and 90s to Russia from Central Asia, and from Russia on to the West. The liberalisation of legislation in the sphere of freedom of conscience and social partnership between the state and religious associations has become an urgent task that should be solved.


Roman Lunkin is the Director of the Center for Religious Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is editor-in-chief of the magazine ‘Contemporary Europe’ and a member of the Russian team of the Keston Institute, Oxford in the project ‘An Encyclopedia of religious life in Russia today’.  His latest publications include ‘The Status of and Challenges to Religious Freedom in Russia’ in Allen Hertzke (ed.) The Future of Religious Freedom. Global Challenges, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 157-180; ‘Reaction of Russian Churches on Ukrainian Crisis: A Prophecy of Democracy’ Rob van der Laarse, Mykhailo N. Cherenkov, Vitaliy V. Proshak, Tetiana Mykhalchuk (eds.) Religion, state, society, and identity in transition : Ukraine. Oisterwijk : Wolf Legal Publishers, 2015, pp. 435-476;  ‘Changes to Religious Life in Crimea since 2014’ in Elizabeth A. Clark and Dmytro Vovk (eds.), Religion During the Russian Ukrainian Conflict, London: Routledge, 2019, pp. 144-156.


Cover photo: ‘New Jerusalem Monastery, Moscow, July 2019’. Copyright: Roman Lunkin


[1] ‘Vladimir Putin zayavlyaet, chto v Rossii tradicionnye religii mogut rasschityvat’ na podderzhku gosudarstva’ (Putin claims that in Russia traditional religions could rely on the support of the state), 17 December 2001, RIA Novosti, available at All websites were accessed on 23 December 2019.

[2] Staroobryadchestvo v Rossijskoj Federacii konca XIX — nachala XXI v. (The Old Believers Movement in Russian Federation in XIX-XXI cent.). 04.01.2018URL:;

Official site of the Russian Orthodox Old Rite Church – . The figures vary depending on the methodology of the poll. Very few people attend church every Sunday, for instance; Estimate based on comparison of censuses and sociological surveys: Sergei Filatov and Roman Lunkin, ‘Statistics on Religion in Russia: The Reality Behind the Figures’, Religion. State & Society, 2006, pp. 33-49; Lunkin Roman, Filatov Sergei. Statistika religioznoj i konfessional’noj prinadlezhnosti rossiyan: kakim arshinom merit’. (The Statistics of the religious and confessional belonging: how to count). Religiya i rossijskoe mnogoobrazie (Religion and Russian diversity). Kestonskij institut, Moscow-Petersburg, Publisher: “Letnij sad”, 2011. S.5-30.

[3] Roman Lunkin, ‘Regulating Faiths: Make Your Preaching Legal, The Russia File. A blog of the Kennan Institute’, August 7th 2017. URL:

[4] The Information portal on the activity of non-commercial organisations of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, the list of registered organisations on December 23rd 2019,

[5] See the results of the field research in the volumes of the ‘Religious Life in Russia Today’ published by the Keston Institute:; Religiozno-obshchestvennaya zhizn’ rossijskih regionov (Religious and social life in Russian regions). Pod red. S.B. Filatova. Kestonskij institut, Moscow-Petersburg, Publisher: “Letnij sad” T.I, 2014. T.II,2016. T.III, 2018.

[6] Lunkin Roman, Filatov Sergei. Statistika religioznoj i konfessional’noj prinadlezhnosti rossiyan: kakim arshinom merit’. (The Statistics of the religious and confessional belonging: how to count). Religiya i rossijskoe mnogoobrazie (Religion and Russian diversity). Kestonskij institut, Moscow-Petersburg, Publisher: “Letnij sad”, 2011. S.5-30.

[7] ‘Patriarh prizval ne politizirovat’ ponyatie “russkij mir”’ (Patriarch call not to politicize the notion “Russian world”), 20 July 2015, RIA Novosti,

[8] Zakon SSSR ot 01 October 1990 N 1689-1 ‘O Svobode Sovesti i religioznyh organizaciyah’(The Law of the USSR from October 1st 1990 №1689-1 “On Freedom of the consciousness and on religious organizations”). Available at

[9] The official list on website of Ministry of Justice, available at

[10] Roman Lunkin, ‘The Status of and Challenges to Religious Freedom in Russia’ in Allen D. Hertzke (ed.), The Future of Religious Freedom. Global Challenges, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 157-180.

[11] Source: Pew Research Center. Available at:

[12] Data collected from the website of the Federal State Statistics Service at (;;;; and; Many Ukrainians have not sought asylum or received refugee status and have continued to cross the border with Russia freely without registration. These figures related to those who registered as receiving temporary shelter and in total are closer to 1.5 million; Russia, Belarus undertake exhaustive measures to host Ukrainian refugees — CSTO official. TASS. 5 FEB 2016. Available at:; UN Refugee Agency: Ukraine, November 1st-30th 2017, ‘Operational Update’:; The report states that 524,000 people ‘sought asylum or other legal status in the Russian Federation’. ‘The humanitarian situation of Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons’, Assembly debate on January 27th 2015,; Chudinovskikh O., Denisenko M. (2017) Russia: A Migration System with Soviet Roots. Migration Policy Institute. Available at:

[13] Kononova Marina. ‘Russkaya staroobryadcheskaya diaspora v stranah dal’nego zarubezh’ya: genezis, formirovanie i sovremennoe polozhenie’ (Russian Old Rite Diaspora in the countries abroad: genesis, formation and the present state), November 7th 2014, available at


[15] The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad appeared in the 1920s, and by 2007 had about 400 parishes in the USA, Australia, Britain and Germany.

[16] Polyan Pavel. ‘Geografiya nasil’stvennyh migracij v SSSR. Naselenie i obshchestvo’ (The geography of the forced migration in USSR. The population and the society). No. 37, 1999, available at

[17] Smirnova Tatiana. ‘Migracii i dinamika chislennosti nemeckogo naseleniya Zapadnoj Sibiri v konce XIX – XXI vv.’ (Migration and dynamics of the amount of the German population in Western Siberia in XIX – XXI c.). Izvestiya Altajskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta (The news of the Altai State University). 2007,  56 (4-3), pp. 174-181; V.P. Klyueva, ‘Emigraciya po religioznym motivam: sovetskie pyatidesyatniki v poiskah «luchshej doli»’ (The Emigration for religious reasons: Soviet Pentecostalists in the search of the better fate) Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Istoriya (The news of the Tomsk State University. History).  2018, 6 (2), pp. 438-453.

[18] Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic as a part of USSR; Evangelicals indicates the Protestant churches that formed as a legacy of the Reformation between the 17th and 19th centuries (Methodism, Baptism, the Salvation Army, Holiness churches) and evangelical movements of the twentieth century (Pentecostalism, Charismatics); The choice of nationalities in Table 1 is based mainly on the focus of that article, and is not an exhaustive list of all nationalities living in Russia. Consequently, it excludes native peoples of Russia that belong to the Orthodox tradition but have not taken part in migration processes. Also, certainly, the decreasing number of Ukrainians and Belarussians in Russia is a separate issue that awaits scholarly attention.  The non-Russian native peoples of Russia following Orthodoxy include Ossetians (originating from the territory of the Russian federal subject of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and South Ossetia; an unrecognised republic that separated from Georgia in 1991), Udmurts, some Chuvashs living in the Volga region, Finno-Ugric peoples of Russia; Erzya, Moksha, Mari, as well as Komi and Karelians in North-West Russia, etc. Data collected from the 1989 census: Official site of the 2002 census:; Official site of the 2010 census:

[19] ‘Vystuplenie mitropolita Volokolamskogo Ilariona v Lissabone na temu «Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Cerkov’ i pomoshch’ hristianam Blizhnego Vostoka’ (The speech of Metropolitan Hilarion in Lisbon on the ROC and support to Christians in the Middle East). September 20th 2018. Patriarchia.Ru, available at

[20] ‘128 millionov rublej sobrala Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Cerkov’ dlya mirnyh zhitelej Ukrainy.’ (128 million roubles collected by the Russian Orthodox Church for the peaceful citizens of Ukraine). May 29th 2015, available at

[21] ‘Pomoshch’ bezhencam iz Ukrainy v RF: shtaby, goryachie telefony’ (Support for the refugees from Ukraine in Russia: centres and hot telephone lines), Orthodox portal on charity. August 8th 2014, available at; ‘V Rostove-na-Donu vozobnovil rabotu shtab pomoshchi bezhencam iz Ukrainy organizovannyj YUzhnym eparhial’nym upravleniem ROSKHVE (cerkvi «Iskhod»)’ (In Rostov-on-Don the work of the centre for the support for the refugees from Ukraine organised by the southern diocese of the Russian Pentecostal Union and the “Exhodus” Church restarted). Official website of the Pentecostal Union – Cef.Ru, February 18th 2015, available at

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