Defining religion to be recognized by a state : the case of neo-pagan community “Romuva“ in Lithuania

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012165217
Title: Defining religion to be recognized by a state : the case of neo-pagan community “Romuva“ in Lithuania
Author: Tubys, Lukrecijus
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012165217
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/323191
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Religion, Conflict and Dialogue
Religion, Conflict and Dialogue
Religion, Conflict and Dialogue
Abstract: Lithuanian neo-pagan community “Romuva” approached the Lithuanian parliament to grant it state’s recognition. According to the Ministry of Justice, the religious community met all necessary requirements – it has been registered for 25 years, its customs and creeds do not contradict law and morals, and it has support in the society. However, the Lithuanian parliament voted against granting the new status. This thesis aims on how was the legal recognition of the “Romuva” argued for and against in the public media and the Lithuanian parliament and what kind of understanding of neo-paganism in particular and religion in general was constructed in these arguments. To achieve the goal two sets of data were analyzed: all articles related with “Romuva” recognition appeared on the most popular as well as pro-christian and pro-romuvian media sites from 2018-2020. Also public records from the Lithuanian parliament during submission and consideration phases, letters to parliamentarians. The data was also structured in a timeline to track the development of arguments. Findings show that even though the question for recognition is legal, during the debate historical and political arguments were dominating. Many of them did not relate with requirements for the recognition officially set by the Ministry of Justice. The biggest involvement in the question was demonstrated by pro-christian community’s members – politicians, scholars. The recognition for neo-pagans was strongly resisted by the dominant religion in Lithuania Christian Church
Subject: Romuva
neo-paganism
recognition
Lithuania


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