Slavic Native Faith

Rodnovers gathered at the Temple of Svarozhich's Fire of the Union of Slavic Native Belief Communities, in Krasotinka, Kaluga Oblast, Russia, to celebrate Perun Day.
Worship ceremony led by the priests of the Ukrainian organisation Ancestral Fire of Slavic Native Faith.
A building of the Slavic Kremlin Vitaly Sundakov, a Rodnover citadel in the Podolsky District, Moscow Oblast, Russia.

The Slavic Native Faith, commonly known as Rodnovery[lower-greek 1] and sometimes as Slavic Neopaganism,[lower-greek 2] is a modern Pagan religion. Classified as a new religious movement, its practitioners harken back to the historical belief systems of the Slavic peoples of Central and Eastern Europe, though the movement is inclusive of external influences and hosts a variety of currents. "Rodnovery" is a widely accepted self-descriptor within the community, although there are Rodnover organisations which further characterise the religion as Vedism, Orthodoxy, and Old Belief.

Many Rodnovers regard their religion as a faithful continuation of ancient beliefs that survived as folk religion or as conscious "double belief" following the Christianisation of the Slavs in the Middle Ages. Rodnovery draws upon surviving historical and archaeological sources and folk religion, often integrating them with non-Slavic sources such as Hinduism (as they are believed to come from the same Proto-Indo-European source). Rodnover theology and cosmology may be described as pantheism and polytheism—worship of the supreme God of the universe and of the multiple gods, ancestors and spirits of nature identified through Slavic culture. Adherents usually meet together in groups to conduct religious ceremonies. These typically entail the invocation of gods, sacrifices and the pouring of libations, dances and a communal meal.

Rodnover ethical thinking emphasises the good of the collective over the rights of the individual. The religion is patriarchal, and attitudes towards sex and gender are generally conservative. Rodnovery has developed distinctive strains of political and identitary philosophy. Rodnover organisations often characterise themselves as ethnic religions, emphasising that the religion is bound to Slavic ethnicity. This often manifests in forms of nationalism, opposition to miscegenation and the belief in the fundamental difference of racial groups. Rodnovers often glorify Slavic history, criticising the impact of Christianity in Slavic countries and arguing that these nations will play a central role in the world's future. Rodnovers share a strong feeling that their religion represents a paradigmatic shift which will overcome the mental constraints imposed through feudalism and the continuation of what they call "mono-ideologies".

The contemporary organised Rodnovery movement arose from a multiplicity of sources and charismatic leaders just at the brink of the collapse of the Soviet Union and spread rapidly by the mid-1990s and the 2000s. Antecedents are to be found in late 18th- and 19th-century Slavic Romanticism, which glorified the pre-Christian beliefs of Slavic societies. Active religious practitioners devoted to establishing Slavic Native Faith appeared in Poland and Ukraine in the 1930s and 1940s, while the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin promoted research into ancient Slavic religion. Following the Second World War and the establishment of communist states throughout the Eastern Bloc, new variants were established by Slavic emigrants living in Western countries, being later introduced in Central and Eastern European countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent times, the movement has been increasingly studied in academic scholarship.


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