"Parish church and religion" Rudamina Travelogue by matcrazy1
Rudamina Travel Guide: 34 reviews and 77 photos
Lithuanian Religion is told to be one of the oldest religions of the world. It originated from the natural and native beliefs of people who lived in the area of Baltic (along Baltic Sea coast). Each Baltic nation (nowadays Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) developed its own ethnic variant of Baltic Religion. More about ancient Lithuanian mythology and religion: clisk here or here
Lithuania was the last country in Europe to be Christianized.
Strange thing, despite strong traditions of traditional Lithuanian old religion, Lithuania was christianised... twice:
- in 1251 the court of Lithuanan King Mindaguas officially converted to Roman Catholicism in order to stop the crusades, but in real no-one followed the court. More, Mindaugas continued to practice Lithuanian religion secretly. Then Grand Duke Gediminas (1275?-1341?) allowed all people to worship their own Gods.
- in 1386-7 Lithuania officially accepted Roman Catholicism. But Christianity advanced very slowly as the Lithuanians continued to practice their own religion.
Reformers and Catholic Counter-Reformers began evangelization campaigns in Lithuania in 16th century. Catholics also polonized Lithuanians. They required the use of Polish language. Both churches banned traditional (religious) Lithuanian holidays.
Despite strong resistance against Christianity most Lithuanians were Christian by the mid-19th century. Lithuanian Religion came back in the periode between two world wars and again now.
- Roman Catholic Church - 69% (1993, 79% in 2001),
- Russian Orthodox Church - 4%
- Evangelical Christian Church (Lithuanian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Reformed Church - Calvinist) - 1%
- other religions (incl. Protestants Judaism, Muslims, Krishna followers, Karaite, the Old Believers, Uniate = Eastern-Rite Catholic) - 6%
- no religion (atheism) - 25%
Traditionally Roman catholics were either Lithuaians or Poles whereas Orthodox and Old Believer adherents were predominantly Russians.
Cultural and language differences distinguish the regions of Temaitija (western Lithuania), Aukstaitija (mid and eastern Lithuania), Suvalkija (below the Nemunas where Rudamina is) and Dzukija (southern Lithuania).
Region of Suwalkija seems to be especially catholic in Lithuania.
After long years of Soviet occupation it seems that there are more and more Roman catholics and less and less atheists. Number of Roman catholics:
1993 - 60%
2001 - 79%
2010 - ???
Well, I am not crazy about religion, any religion. But I am crazy about religious tolerance and freedom at all, including freedom of religion. So, welcome to the next travelogue.
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