2 million ethnic Muslims adopted baptism in Russia
- 2005.11.01 Interfax:
01 November 2005, 12:05
2 million ethnic Muslims adopted baptism in Russia while only 2,5
thousand Russians converted to Islam - expert
Moscow, November 1, Interfax - The number of ethnic Muslims in Russia
who adopted Christianity is 2 million, while the number of the
Orthodox who have been converted to Islam is only 2,5 thousand,
stated Roman Silantyev, executive secretary of the Inter-religious
Council in Russia.
'Christianization happens not so much as a result of some purposeful
missionary activity (in which only Protestants are engaged) as under
the influence of Russian culture which has express Christian roots',
Silantyev said in a interview published this week by the Itogi weekly.
According Silantyev, the converts are predominantly Muslims by birth,
while 'those who really confess Islamic values and attend mosque on a
regular basis rarely change their faith'.
'The assimilation of ethnic and religious minorities is an inevitable
process in any society. In Russia it is accelerated due to extremist
activities', the Islamic researcher believes.
For instance, he says, as a result of what happened in Beslan, the
proportion of Muslims in North Ossetia has decreased at least by 30%,
while in Beslan itself, where Muslims had comprised from 30 to 40% of
the population, their number has decreased at least by half.
'As even Muslim sources confirm, after each terrorist action,
thousands and may be even dozens of thousands of ethnic Muslims adopt
baptism', Silantyev stated.
At the same time, the expert accounts for the small number of ethnic
Orthodox people who have adopted Islam for the last 15 years, among
other things, by the fact that 'for some reason Russians seem to be
more willing to join sects than Islam'.