• CN
  • AE
  • RU
  • IR
  • IN
  • FR
  • ES

Religion in Russia

Russia is a secular State in which none of the existing religions can be considered a principal or a compulsory one. Representatives of world religions of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism live together peacefully in all cities. For instance, churches, cathedrals, mosques, synagogues, datsans and prayer houses of 42 faiths can be found in Saint Petersburg alone. Everyone also has the right to freely declare themselves atheists.


The most common religion in the country is Christianity, namely Orthodoxy. His history began in 988 with the baptism of Ancient Russia by Knyaz Vladimir. Orthodoxy is closely connected with the formation of Russian culture and the Russian State. Thanks to Orthodoxy there was a Cyrillic script and the most beautiful monasteries-fortresses, for example, the Trinity-Sergius Lavra or the Pskov-Pechersk Monastery. Orthodoxy also played a large role in establishing the moral principles of Russian society, since during the Russian Empire it was the official religion according to which people lived. About 70% of Russians now consider themselves Orthodox. Religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter are actively celebrated, and new churches and cathedrals are being built. The main Orthodox cathedrals of Russia are: the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Temple of Basil the Blessed in Moscow, the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir, the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, the Church of the Intercession on Nerli and the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Kizhi.

In some parts of the country Catholicism and Protestantism are also popular. They became widespread in the 18th and 19th centuries with the annexation to the Russian Empire of Polish and Belarusian lands, as well as a large influx of settlers from Germany. Historically most Catholics in modern Russia are descended from Germans, Lithuanians, Latvians and Poles. The largest Catholic cathedral in Russia is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Moscow. In this Cathedral the largest spiritual organ in the country is located. It can be listened to during church concerts. And the temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Samara keeps the relics of the first canonized dark-skinned American Martin de Porres.


Islam is the second mostly widespread religion in Russia. Large Muslim communities live in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Western Siberia and the North Caucasus. Mostly they are ethnic Muslims, because the history of the spread of Islam in these territories dates back to the Volga Bulgaria, and the first mosque was built in Dagestan in 651. There are more than 40 Muftis or Spiritual Directorates of Muslims working in Russia and about 8,000 mosques open. For instance, the northernmost mosque in the world   «Nurd-Kamal» in Norilsk, listed in the Guinness World Records. Or a mosque with the largest number of minarets in Kazan, which broadcasts around-the-clock reading of the Holy Koran. In all cities, regardless of the prevalence of Islam, the most important Muslim holidays of Uraza-Bayram and Kurban-Bayram are celebrated. In some regions, these dates are official holidays, and streets and squares are closed for the convenience of believers.


Buddhism is considered a traditional religion in Buryatia, Tyva and Kalmykia. There are about 1.5-2 million Buddhists in the country, most of them Tibetan. Saint Petersburg is home to the world’s northernmost datsan Gunzechoinei. This is a tourist and cult center of Buddhism in the European part of the country, which is interesting to visit even in terms of architecture and Eastern culture. Kalmykia has the largest statue of the Buddha in Russia and Europe (9 m), and in Buryatia is the residence of the head of Russian Buddhism, Ivolginsky Datsan.


Judaism is also widespread in major cities. The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia is active in building synagogues, opening Sunday schools and combating anti-Semitism. The Center of Jewish Religious Life is located in Moscow where a choral synagogue, a rabbinical court, and religious educational and scientific institutions have been opened.

<a href="https://ru.freepik.com/free-photo/top-view-assortment-religious-symbols_9469642.htm#fromView=search&page=1&position=47&uuid=c1688003-5cce-4478-889f-322de081678f">Изображение от freepik</a>


Ready to apply to the university? Register on the website and contact representatives of the admissions committee
We use technologies such as cookies to personalize content and ads, provide social media features, and analyze site traffic. In addition, we provide information about your use of our site to trusted partners in advertising and analytics.

Our partners may combine this information with other information that you have provided to them or that they have collected from your use of their services.

A cookie is a small piece of text sent to your browser from a website you visit. It helps the website to remember information about you, such as your preferred language and other settings. Cookies make your website browsing experience much more convenient. For more information about cookies, please visit: Privacy Policy and cookie