Practitioners of ancestral religion make their existence known


Interfax-Religiia, 9 August 2021


The supreme shaman of Russia, Kara-ool Dopchun-ool, declared that representatives of traditional cults of Siberia wish to unite with believers of indigenous Russian religions and other pagans of the European part of the country and ask the authorities for a status that is equal with Christians and Muslims


"At the congress it was made clear that the aspirations of the peoples of Russia are to make Shamanism equal with other religions," Dopchun-ool stated at the Third All-Russian Congress of Shamans in Kyzyl (Tuva), who was quoted by the newspaper Nezavisimaia Gazeta—Religions on Monday.


The supreme shaman noted that people have believed in forces of nature since the Stone Age and that some of the religions that are recognized now appeared, in his opinion, only in the Middle Ages. He explained that the congress delegates intend to write an application to President Vladimir Putin, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the Ministry of Justice, and the Federal Agency for Nationality Affairs for the recognition of traditional belief systems.


When asked about the reasons for such a petition, Dopchun-ool responded that Shamans are "oppressed by Buddhism" in Tuva. He said that emissaries of Tibetan Buddhism who come from India erect impediments for adherents of indigenous beliefs.


At the same time, the shaman stressed that Tuvans who worship the elements of nature do not feel pressure from the Russian Orthodox Church. "The Orthodox are not opposed to Shamanism. There is much in Orthodoxy that has been taken from Shamanism. For example, the funeral service for the dead is identical," Dopchun-ool noted.


"Shamans want to align with the ancient pagan beliefs of European Russia. Wizards and Old Slavic pagan beliefs are also Shamanism. The word 'shaman' is simply Tungusic and the names of this phenomenon differ among various peoples," Dopchun-ool said, adding that a decision was made at the congress to join with pagans of European Russia, since there were delegates at the forum from, among others, Moscow, Kaliningrad, Perm, and even Belorussia.


In the opinion of the supreme shaman, there are many adherents of faith in the forces of nature in Russia. (tr. by PDS, posted 9 August 2021)

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