Religious Conflict in Russia

5041 Words Feb 27th, 2006 21 Pages
RELIGIOUS CONFLICT IN RUSSIA

One of the great ironies of history is that Marxism, an atheistic theory, was first implemented in Russia—a land inhabited by millions of believers practicing most of the world's great religions. In fact, religion is so integral to the culture and history of Russia, it would be impossible to gain a full understanding for the unique character of the country and its people without a careful examination of the religious factors at play throughout its history.

BACKGROUND

Basic Demographics Any discussion of Russia must begin with its single most striking feature—its sheer vastness. During World War II, a German general noted how his troops "were depressed by the monotony of the landscape and the immensity
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In terms of languages, Russian is the common official language throughout the Federation, understood by 99 percent of its current inhabitants and widespread in many adjacent areas of Asia and Eastern Europe. However, national subdivisions of Russia have additional official languages, further reflecting the diverse ethnicity of the country. As a result, there are more than 100 languages spoken throughout the nation, most tied to the particular ethnic groups from which they sprang.

Economics and Education Perhaps the most significant impact of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been the economic chaos which subsequently consumed the country. For five years following the collapse, Russia saw its comparatively developed centrally planned economy contract severely. It was not until 1997 that Russia began to show signs of recovery as a result of its new open-market policies. Since that time, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country has grown by an average of 6.7 percent per year, largely on the back of oil exports, as well as a steadily developing service and industrial output. Currently, Russia's GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP) is approximately $1.5 trillion, making it the ninth largest economy in the world and the fifth largest in Europe. If this growth rate is sustained, the country will become the second largest European economy after Germany and the sixth largest in
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