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Traditional faiths in Ukraine and Missionary



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Traditional Faiths in Ukraine and Missionary Activity by Anatoly Kolodniy Anatoly Kolodniy who was one of the organizers of the Ukrainian section of the Emory University proselytism study project is head of the Ukrainian Association of Researchers of Religion He recently established the Center for Religious Information and Freedom CERIF and teaches at Mohyla University in Kyiv Religious tradition traditional religion traditional church these concepts engage not only denominational theologians in Ukraine but also activists in the democratic movement who strive to capitalize on certain traditional religious entities as spiritual foundations for the process of national rebirth Let us begin by defining the phenomenon of tradition itself Tradition serves as one form of socio cultural transmission which lends to the preservation of culture and its reproduction and development The functional nature of tradition is evident in its socializing of new generations Tradition guarantees the stabilization of social relations and cohesion The following properties characterize tradition formation of a collective character a high level of constancy and a codification of the life experience of human groups Tradition consolidates the peoples of a nation Tradition reproduces the thoughts of the past in the actual experience of the present Understanding the role of tradition in religious organizations and movements is complex Some approach the concept of religious tradition from a chronological perspective This approach views as traditional those groups who have been around a long time A strict chronological approach would recognize the tradition of paganism for example Correspondingly numerous Christian denominations would necessarily qualify as secondary traditions However no one has fixed the number of years or centuries a denomination needs to exist to call itself traditional The Baptist movement in Ukraine dates from 1854 That is almost eight centuries less than Orthodoxy yet it too



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