Lyubov SATUSHIEVA


Lyubov Satushieva, Ph.D. (Law), Assistant Professor, Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law, Berbekov State University of Kabardino-Balkaria (Nalchik, the Russian Federation).


RELIGIOUS CULTURE OF THE PEOPLES OF THE NORTHERN CAUCASUS AND THE RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES
(FIRST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY)

ABSTRACT

The author relies on a vast body of published and unpublished archival documents to demonstrate how the Russian Empire gradually built regulatory systems in the sphere of religious relations in the Caucasus. Her analysis of the specifics of the empires legal policy in this sphere demonstrates that, on the whole, religious relations were regulated by secular laws. The state was obviously determined to endow all of its peoples with the rights that its Russian subjects enjoyed. On the other hand, it tried to create a mechanism that would obligate the state structures to observe the law. In other words, it created conditions in which the Russian Muslims could fully enjoy their rights. The author supplies an answer to the central question: Did Russia manage to harmonize the interests of the Caucasian peoples and religious movements in the region through legal means?

Keywords: Religious culture, the peoples of the Northern Caucasus, the Russian authorities, Christian Orthodoxy, sects, the Armenian Church, foreign Christian missionaries.

Introduction

The Caucasus, never one of the easiest regions at the best of times, invariably became a focal point during times of radical change. Today, when the Northern Caucasus obviously needs a contemporary legal regulation strategy, we need to look back at the history of legal regulation of religious relations and the life of the peoples of the Caucasus. The experience that has been accumulated in modernizing the religious sphere in the region is highly specific and,


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