Practice and ideology of regional studies of religious security


2019, Vol. 3. №4 (10)

Practice and ideology of regional studies of religious security

Author: Ivan V. Suslov

For citation: Suslov I. V. 2019. “Practice and ideology of regional studies of religious security”. Siberian Socium, vol. 3, no 4 (10), pp. 65-73. DOI: 10.21684/2587-8484-2019-3-4-65-73

About the author:

Ivan V. Suslov, Cand. Sci of (Soc.), Associate Professor, Department of History, Political Science and Sociology, Saratov State Legal Academy (Saratov, Russian Federation); eLibrary AuthorID,


The contemporary Russian map of threats to religious security is multifaceted. The first place in the hierarchy of threats is the activity of radical Islamists promoting extremist goals, while the second place belongs to the activity of non-traditional religions. This article is devoted to the analysis of methodological tools and results of regional and All-Russian sociological surveys aimed at determining the quality of interfaith relations and the place of religious risks in the national security system. Research into the religious sphere requires a certain sensitivity, which only complicates the process of compiling empirical tools. This article analyzes the experience of sociological surveys in the Volga Region (Bashkortostan, Penze, Ulyanovsk, Mordovia, Astrakhan) and the North Caucasus, using the data from All-Russian surveys. The purpose of this article is to identify the most effective methodological strategies for measuring sectarian tension and determining the risk of religious violence. The analysis of methodological tools shows that the high anxiety of mass consciousness can be recorded using questions on a number of issues. They include the admissibility or inadmissibility of violence in interreligious relations; the need to grant special rights to a denomination (to formalize its dominant position); the benefits or harms of the transition from one religion to another; the attitude towards the demonstration of religious symbols in the public sphere (e. g. hijab). The analysis of empirical research strategies allowed recording the tendency to present non-traditional faiths for Russia as a serious threat to the religious security, as well as to unite under a single cap such diverse phenomena as Wahhabism, the movement of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Protestantism, and Krishnaism. On the contrary, Russian political scientists consider traditional religions the main allies of the state in the field of maintaining religious security. The author concludes that the choice of methods can influence individual and collective perceptions of religious security.


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