Project Name: Fellowship 2005 / Civil Society and Civil Religion in Russia: Implications for Social Policy



Initial Work and Advocacy Plan


Pavel Bayov


The objectives of the project are to analyze Russian legislation related to freedom of religion and church-state relations, analyze authoritarian challenges to religious freedom and the responses of stakeholders to these challenges, examine the character of interrelations between religious communities, federal and local governments, and the broader public in today's Russia; and write a research paper and a 20-page policy study in coordination with the group advisor to provide recommendations for policy practitioners and developers in Russia including the Committee on Religious Affairs of the Irkutsk Region Government, Department of Public Affairs of the Legislative Assembly of Irkutsk Region, and non-governmental activists in the region.


As partners may serve such the OSI network programs, as CEU Department of Political Science, CEU Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology. Both bodies could be benefited from this collaboration by obtaining the first-hand data on development of civil society institutions in today's Russia, logics, mechanisms, and contradictions of this process, and its prospects.


Main prospective deliverables


*           A research paper;

*           A 20-page policy study;

*           Policy paper, to provide recommendations to the policy practitioners and developers in the field of religious activity in Russia;

*           A workshop on the problems of state-church relations in today's Russian society (audience: public policy practitioners, academicians, religious communities' representatives, NGO activists;

*           An article in one of the refereed journals


Timetable and Research Schedule

Stage 1 (March 2005 May 2005)

Critical analysis of a legislation of the Russian Federation regulating the relations in religious sphere, and legislative practice. (What kind of relations is presupposed in this sphere according to The Law on Freedom of Religion (1997)? What kind of relations actually exists in Russia among authorities, religious communities and the public? What are the criteria a voluntary organization must meet in order to be registered as a church? Are there any impediments in accessibility of church status? If so, what are the main sources and origins of these obstacles?)


Stage 2 (June 2005 August 2005)

a. Analysis of newspapers (local and national) and electronic media. (What were/are the dynamics, volume of attention, and the context of valuation regarding different religious communities, which were/are spread through the media in the USSR/ Russia since 1985 through the nowadays? What kind of images of authority in relation to religion, and of confessions and denominations were/are intrinsic in the Soviet/ Russian society?)

b. Preparation of interim report to IPF


Stage 3 (September 2005 December 2005)

a. Public opinion poll. (What kind of images, and what sort of perception, regarding different religious communities are intrinsic now in different social groups and among the religious communities towards their "counterparts"?)

b. Interview of experts: clergymen, governmental officials, and scholars in the field of religion. (What kind of perception of each other exists among the leaders of different confessions and denominations in Russia? How do they treat the governmental policy in the field of religious relations? How do governmental officials treat different religious communities? What are the most crucial problems in the sphere of religious life in Russia, from the standpoint of academicians? How can a certain church influence on the political decisions? Is the autonomy of churches possible in today's Russia, and if so, what are the advantages and shortcomings of this "independence"?)

c. A workshop on the problems of state-church relations in today's Russian society.


Stage 4 (January 2006 March 2006)

a. Elaboration of the policy recommendations

b. Preparation of article and policy papers.



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