The Issue of Religious Freedom in the Baltic Countries (in the post-Soviet Period)

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Year-Number: 2023-2023 Özel Sayı 2
Yayımlanma Tarihi: 2023-11-24 11:58:18.0
Language : English
Konu : Political Science
Number of pages: 14-21
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Abstract

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Abstract

Certain thoughts that have existed for decades in various circles of society that religion would lose its importance or disappear from the main spheres of society's life that religions would take more tolerant, enlightening, and philosophical forms, and faith would no longer be the driving force for people's unification and political activity, was not justified. No regime has succeeded in banishing religion from public life, despite severe persecution. On the contrary, religion often acts as an important factor even in several political processes. We have to admit that even in the space of the former Soviet Union, where it was believed that the religious factor was insignificant, and despite decades of persecution and the introduction of atheism, destroyed, empty churches and mosques, religion took an important place again in the post-Soviet period. Moreover, often a wide circle of politicians use the religious factor in their rhetoric. Therefore, the study of the issue of religious freedom on the example of the Baltic countries, which are members of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is relevant and interesting, both for the countries of the post-Soviet space that want to join these organizations and for other countries as well, because the freedom of religion is one of the important indicators of democracy in the country. The paper aims to present the reality of the Baltic states, the existing legislation on freedom of religion, the relations between the state and religious organizations, and various aspects related to the freedom of religious organizations, based on the study and analysis of existing official documents and secondary sources. Due to its relevance, the mentioned topic has a general, public nature. In the Baltic countries, in the post-Soviet period, during the formation of a new political reality, several requirements. For instance, there were identified for the introduction of freedom of religion, were amended legislations. All these were good practices for other countries (including Georgia) for the establishment of a coherent state policy of freedom of religion, for the issues of freedom of religion and belief of religious organizations, and last but not least to raise public awareness.

 

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