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  Islam in Tatarstan

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  The period of struggle coincided with collectivization and dispossetion - mullahs - first of all, depriving of their civil rights. During mass reprisals of 30th to moslems, besides general for all accusations, they were accused in a special way. "Enemies of people" were declared not only active opponents of transition from the Arabian writing on Latin (in 1928), and then cyrillics (in 1939), but also those who stored books on Arabian diagram - even of secular contents. Many books were burnt, others the owners dug on cemeteries in tombs of ancestors. Cult establishments were closed or destroyed absolutely. Till April, 1, 1939 from 1598 mosques and 560 churches working in the territory of the republic before the revolution, 817 were used for cultural establishments - schools, clubs etc., 159 - for economic needs.
  But in the family life of Tatars, especially in the countryside, religious practices widely continued to be executed, frequently in parallel with new - Soviet ceremonies. Preservation of religious ceremonialism was promoted, besides the other reasons, by the factor that any man knowing bases of dogma and ceremonialism could carry out religious practice as informal mullah.
  At the time of WWII the atheistic work was weakened and revival of religiousness became again. The clergy addressed to all believers with appeal of protection of Fatherland at the front line and in rear. In mosques they collected money, clothes, products for front and children's homes etc.
  However in the second half of 50s the new period of bans began. Obviously: at the certain stage of development of ethnos, in conditions when national specificity of material life disappears, language is lost, history of people is forgotten, the religion plays a compensatory role in growing national consciousness. it carries out also guarding function, constraining isappearance of ethnic specificity, providing thus the survival of ethnos. During many centuries, owing to ability of Islam to the adaptation to local conditions and traditions and its regulation of all sides of life, close interpenetration of culture and life of people and religion took place. 47% of population in villages and 58% in Kazan consider it is impossible or hardly possible to keep national culture without religion. Among the Tatar art intelligency more than 80% think also this way.
  From the end of 80s appreciable "thaw" in mutual relation of the Soviet state and the Muslim religious organizations was observed. Celebrations widely marked in the country on the occasion of 1100-anniversary acceptance of Islam in the East Europe and 200-anniversary of establishment of the Spiritual department of moslems of the European part of the USSR and Siberia testify it.
  Recently in Tatarstan, there has been a rough growth of religious communities and organizations, the quantity of mosques has increased in tens times, the higher Muslim educational institutions work. Two Spiritual departments function: one - as a branch of the Central spiritual department (Ufa), and the second - independent Spiritual department of moslems of Tatarstan. Their functions are professional training of clerics and their placement, participation in construction of mosques, realization of communications with other religious centres - including foreign, organization of pilgrimage to Mecca.


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