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Puntus Е. А., master of social sciences, JR of RI ELR KEUK,

Pupysheva T.N., master of economic sciences, JR of RI NESA KEUK,

Kurilkin А.А., master of economic sciences, tutor of КSIU,


Possessing the unique ethno-cultural and religious diversity, the modern Kazakhstan retains interreligious and interethnic peace, supports the balance of interests of different ethnic and cultural groups. But the republic does not exist in an isolated space. In the context of global trends of exacerbation of interethnic and interconfessional contradictions, intolerance, growth is now seen not only in the third world countries, but also in major European countries and the United States. The Special sharpness reaches the religious question.

The inevitability of involvement in the international information space, while preserving elements of the "Soviet tradition" confessional and ethnic "reincarnation", gives rise to more questions and fears of destabilization than the responses to them, although it has the ultimate aim of providing a basic need of modern man – needs in stability, psychological assurance and protection from the risks and fears of "losing yourself" – the loss of a sense of identity.

Value-target amorphousness, unusual for us anomie both objectives and means to make contact to the identification models "historically" established themselves as the most stable – religious and ethnic (and in most classical forms consistent with each other). They are at the moment for most of the "post-Soviet people", the personification of stability and firmness of value systems and, consequently, the ability to respond to one of the basic human requests in a stable, holistic identity.

However, all is not as smooth as it might seem at first sight and the process of adoption of identities may not seem so sketchy. Naturally, each of us already has the experience we are the result of social construction, and the adoption of new models cannot flow out completely painless and out the need of a quite reasonable cause for the generalization of these system of values of samples in the context of the existing model of self-identification [1, p. 478-525]. So we are talking about that confessional identity cannot be seen as separate model like a new dress which modern Kazakhstani buy to feel more comfortable. This is a difficult, contradictory process, which requires a long time and is associated not only and not so much with the desire of the "post-human" to relate to the faith (often realized only need to find the meaning, the social and psychological stability), but also, to a greater extent the role of the influence of others, "significant others" [1, p. 213-224] interwoven with us in some social network. What is the role of the network influence in the formation of confessional identity of modern Kazakhstan citizen, and whether always inclusiveness in strong religious network has unambiguous implications, because as shown by the data of the surveys and observations to the "strong network" category [2] in a modern society in religious institutions can be attributed mainly non-traditional religious organizations.

Today quite often talk about a new stage of socio-cultural evolution of mankind, often raised the question of the sunset of the era of traditional religions, marked the end of centuries of domination of traditional Christianity and Islam in the consciousness of society. This is directly related to the overall assessment of the prospects for the development of the religious situation in the modern world, as well as with the question of the spread of non-traditional religions.

The process of democratization of the state and social system of Kazakhstan at the border of the centuries took also the religious sphere. On the background of radical changes in all spheres of life of Kazakhstani society, the problem of relations and dialogue between the state and religious associations has acquired special urgency. Its balance and functionality largely determined by not only the condition of international relations, but also the social and political situation as a whole. In this period there was an increase in the number of confessions and religious movements operating in the country, accompanied by a rapid increase in the number of their supporters and followers.

Kazakhstan originally chose the way of liberalization of the activities of religious associations. It was expressed in the constitutional principles of the separation of religion from the state, recognition of freedom conscience and worship, ideological and political diversity. Activity of religious communities until recently governed by the law "On freedom of religion and religious associations". It was one of the first laws that was adopted by an independent Kazakhstan in January 1992. Since then, the law has been amended several times, but they were mostly editorial character. They do not address important issues such as, for example, the registration of religious associations. Over the past since independence 20 years the legislation in all areas has undergone significant changes, and the law "On freedom of religion and religious associations" remained almost unchanged, and it ceased meet modern requirements.

In connection with this on October 11, 2011 in the country was adopted a new law, which regulates the activity of religious associations, the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On religious activity and religious associations". At the moment, "the law is based on the fact that the Republic of Kazakhstan proclaims itself a democratic, secular state, confirms the right of everyone to freedom of conscience and guarantees the equality of everyone, regardless of his religious convictions, recognizes the historical role of Islam of the Hanafi direction and Orthodox Christianity in the development of culture and spiritual life of the people, respect other religions, combined with the spiritual heritage of the people of Kazakhstan, recognizes the importance of interfaith harmony, religious tolerance and respect for religious beliefs of citizens" [3].

The structure of the confessional space of Kazakhstan for the years of sovereignty has undergone significant changes. The Republic is a unique model, when the country being in the face of Islamic ethno demographic majority (in Kazakhstan there are more than seventy percent of the adherents of Islam), may be a model of interfaith harmony. The fact that the majority of the population professes Islam, does not infringe upon the interests of other religions and does not interfere with their full functioning. This is indicated by the expansion of the number of religious establishments of non-Muslim faiths. The country has more than a thousand missions and prayer houses of Protestant associations, the Jewish community, constructed a Buddhist temple. The population supports the current practice of interreligious consensus, providing supremacy of secular format, combined with a soft patronage of traditional confessions.

For today (based on the original data of conducted researches):

1. The majority of Kazakhstani consider themselves believers and supporters of the traditional religions (Islam/Christianity/Catholicism);

2. Religious identification at the level of everyday consciousness often appears as a part of ethnic and religious community, then there is a certain part of the population sincerely believes that belongs to the same confession, which is traditionally distributed among representatives of their nationality;

3. Missionary activity of foreign religious associations yielded "positive" results in terms of increasing the number of followers and the formation of strong networks of confessional communication;

4. The confessional identity of the majority of Kazakhstani is formed in the context of networks of individual communication under the influence of relatives, friends and members of Internet forums, many of which support even closer relationship than with relatives;

5. The awareness of confessional identity in the majority of Kazakhstani is weak. Religious behavior in the context of the existing models of confessional identity of Kazakhstani is a symbiosis of ethnic and religious traditions with elements of weaving resonant life situations;

6. On the background of the weakness of the individual communication networks non-traditional religions assume "relevance" and "love encirclement", actively expanding confessional communication network;

7. The majority of Kazakhstani demonstrates absolute religious tolerance in relation to the traditional confessions;

8. Nontraditional religious doctrines cause a negative reaction (but often not backed up by real information), mostly because of their association with religious extremism.

Religion in modern societies is becoming a symbol of the social construct in the sense that religious faith is not perceived in the context of transcendental needed for the adoption and execution of religious practices [1, p. 213-224].

Religious worldview of the majority of modern Kazakhstani, as well as representatives of other post-Soviet countries are largely eclectically. This is due to the fact that the process of appeal to religion occurs in a situation where a system of knowledge, given a secular format, forms in the ordinary consciousness of the prevalence of non-religious component.

By the results of sociological research on the territory of the Karaganda region called themselves believers 69% of respondents. However, the number of practicing believers is much less.

In the context of the research theme we, first of all, were interested in the question about the level of the religious identity of the population of the Karaganda region. In accordance to the received data the level of ethnic identity of people in the region is much higher than the level of confessional identity. The identification by the respondents themselves with one or another confession for the most part based on their ethnic background. So the majority of kazakhs professes Islam, the European ethnic groups in the majority are Christian. It should also be noted that the level of ethnic identity development is not particularly high for most ethnic groups. And the highest level of ethnicity demonstrate villagers.

Given data allow us to assume that a large part of the population of Karaganda region religious identity expressed by ethnicity, although given the necessary transcendence of the first output (on completion stage of registration institute of religion in the system less stable forms of typing), we get them a clear distinction, on the more severe form of individual consciousness of religious identity. At the same time there is confusion at the level of individual consciousness of ethnic and confessional identities.

However, in order to characterize the confessional situation and religious identity in modern Kazakhstan society, the usual statistics are not enough. It is important to fix the opinion of those who are part of this institution, knows it inside. So were conducted oral and written interviews with key religious figures (in number of adherents) of traditional religions (Imam of the Central Mosque of the Karaganda region, Archpriest Vvedensky cathedral, representative of Interdiocesan Major Seminary "Mary – Mother of the Church").

Speaking about the role of religion in modern Kazakhstan society two of the respondents noted its consolidating function – representatives of Islam and Orthodox Christianity (the most numerous on the number of followers of religion in Kazakhstan). The representative of the Catholicism was more reserved in his characterization of the church's mission.

Speaking of motivation appeals to religion of modern Kazakhstanis religious leaders have noted it is not always unambiguous. In particular, it was said that today it is possible to observe the consumer attitude to religion, for example, a man turns to God only when faced with life's difficulties, seeking salvation, asks for help. It is also one of the main reasons may be a need to follow the traditions of the national culture and language. And not always the faithful turn to God for their internal needs. Reasons for such religious behavior can be called, in the opinion of the clergy, the lack of religious education and a lack of educated religious leaders.

The last twenty years have seen increasing interest of Kazakhstani to religion, a growing number of people visiting the holy places (pilgrimage), committing religious rituals (wedding, christening, etc.), to observe religious customs. This, according to religious leaders participated in the survey and is the main form of manifestation of faith among parishioners: "Parishioners attending the church, trying to observe religious rituals associated with life situations. For example, a christening, a wedding" (direct quote from an interview).

For the majority of citizens of the republic, who consider themselves Muslims or Christians, the presence of religion in their lives confined to ceremonial party – weddings, funerals, childbirth. Believers do the necessary religious rituals prescribed in the holy book. "For every Muslim is required to believe that Allah is one and omnipotent, and this is the first duty of Muslims. Prayers are performed, including Friday prayers (namaz) in the mosques. Frequented their men as religion prescribes mandatory visit is their mosques and committing ritual. On the basis of their financial capabilities believers make the pilgrimage (hadj) to the holy places (Mecca, Medina). Annually increases the number of Muslims who observe fasting (oraz), and helping disadvantaged (sadaqah and zeket)", – said the imam.

Speaking about the composition of believers, the priests say that turning to religion elderly people, youth, women, and they can be from different ethnic groups. The representative of the mosque noticed that the youth become longer attach importance to religion, to observe religious canons and rituals, especially for men.

One of the features common to all confessions, believed religious representatives of Islam and Orthodoxy, was the fact that now the religious identity is not always a consequence of the ethnicity. On the one hand as these mismatches ethnic belonging with confessional is a positive factor, as it can act as a consolidating national factor (nationality as citizenship), on the other hand, it may cause conflict situations, as prayers, worship and interviews in churches and mosques are held in the language of the ethnic majority of believers – russian or kazakh (the problem occurs, and until today the issue is not resolved).

Thus, the position of religious leaders whose opinion can be considered as an expert, allowing once again to draw a conclusion that religious practices are consequence of the a specific type of formed confessional identities, most of them are fragmented due soon compliance its people customs and traditions (and often family) and/or difficult situations.

For contemporary religious situation is characterized by increasing interest in religion and, consequently, increase in the number of believers. As for the confessional identity, from the standpoint of quantitative indicators, we are dealing primarily with the situation of following the customs and traditions of their people, that is ethnicity. Correlation parameters match the influence of ethnicity on the self-determination of the region's resident, his commitment to the customs and traditions of its people, religious and ethnic utensil was 0.5, which is quite a high indicator. It may be noted that for some ethnic groups priori choice of religion cannot be conditioned historically. This suggests a low level of education not only in questions of religion but also in questions of ethnic history.

Formation of confessional identity occurs under the influence primarily of relatives and family. On the second position are informational resources. And only in the last place it appears a spiritual person who is, in fact, traditionally should act as a source of religious education.

Confessional behavior is realized mainly in the context of individual communication networks (which, as shown by qualitative research, consist mainly of relatives) and associated with the commission of traditional rituals (birth, marriage and death). Only an extremely high percentage of the respondents demonstrates the traditional confessional behavior based on the observance of all the rights of religious origin prescribed their religious community.

Weakly expressed confessional identity is consistent with a high level of religious tolerance of inhabitants of Karaganda region for the representatives of traditional confessions.

Thus, at the moment, a significant part of Kazakhstani is "formally" believers. Recognizing the importance of religion in their lives and the life of society, as well as the sharing, at least partially, moral norms and attitudes of religion, they do not realize is how much religion to define their lives and deeds. Their religious practices are fragmented and eclectic as far as fragmented and eclectic their confessional identity preserved the values of Soviet society, and pagan beliefs, acquired features of pseudoreligious doctrines and traditional ethnocultural component.

In the modern Kazakh society, as in any other, the institution of religion occupies a central position as the institution of "producing" values and performs functions normativization and legitimation of modern life practices, it remains one of the major institutions of society, forming its basic values and normative standards [4, p. 342-359]. The variety and inconsistency of confessional identity models presented by the institute, are the consequence of processes of transformation of the basic social institutions, and should be considered in this context as a natural phenomenon meet the needs of modern societies.


Bibliographic index:

1.American sociological thought: Texts / Under the red. of V.I. Dobrenkov. – М.: International university of business and management, 1996. [Electronic resource]. – Access mode:‎. – 560 p.

2.Stephen Fuchs. Against Essentialism. Theory of Culture and Society. Harvard University Press, 2001. – 103 p.

3.The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated on October 11, 2011 № 483-IV "On religious activities and religious associations". [Electronic resource]. – Access mode:

4.Parsons Т. On the structure of social action. – М.: Academic project, 2012. – 880 p.



УДК 316.7 (574)

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