The Contemporary Ethno-Confessional Situation Among the Udmurts of Perm Territory



Udmurts, Perm Territory, confessional processes, traditional religion, Islam, Christianity


The article, which is based on both published sources and field expedition materials from recent decades, sets out to examine the confessional processes taking place in a small area in the south of Perm Territory that is settled by Udmurts, the foundation of whose religious tradition was the preservation of traditional beliefs. The author has conducted an analysis of the historical prerequisites for the formation of a multi-confessional community, characterised by both the preservation of traditional religion and the active spread of Islam and Christianity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The historical experience of this period has influenced the modern ethno-confessional situation. Today, each of the religious traditions observed by the community being studied has a different potential for development. Following the restoration of the system of prayers and institutions, traditional religion has played a vital role, both in the modern ethnic identity of the group as a whole, and in the local identity of the inhabitants of specific villages and hamlets. In their capacity as significant and major social events of the year, prayers occupy an important place in the contemporary ethno-cultural life of the Kuyeda Udmurts. At the same time, the symbolic nature of prayers, the loss of a developed system of ideas, along with the absence of outstanding confessional leaders are often the reasons for the absence of public religious life in some Udmurt villages, and for the lack of involvement of a significant part of the local community in contemporary confessional events. Christianity currently has significant potential to spread within the group individual strategies, as well as missionary work, are the main reasons for its active spread in recent decades. Islam has maintained its position in the same period. 


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