Publication details

New religions in a post-communist city: Seventh-Day Adventists and Diamond Way Buddhists in Brno



Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description State-backed secularization and a general weakening of the role of churches during the decades of Communist rule have transformed Czech cities into societies showing a very high percentage of people formally declaring themselves atheists, even when compared globally. The recent resurrection of religion, witnessed in many regions of the world, has not been widely documented in post-communist Central-European societies. However, there are people without a formal religious affiliation in Czech cities who are looking for a religion to answer their spiritual needs. The void on the religious map of the Czech Republic caused by the communist state suppression of traditional churches has been partially filled up during the last two decades by a number of new, non-traditional churches, both Christian and non-Christian. This paper, based on a thorough study and in-depth interviews carried out in the Czech city of Brno, asks the following question: what makes the selected non-traditional religions attractive for young residents of Brno, a traditionally Roman Catholic city. The research was done among young followers of two non-traditional denominations. First, the study looks at the Seventh-day Adventist church in a case study of the mission in Brno-Lesná neighbourhood. The church has recently attracted a rather broad range of followers, drawing on its peculiar position during the Communist rule and the consequent growth of its influence. Second, this non-traditional but older church`s activities are compared with a relatively new Diamond Way Buddhist movement, which has been active in Brno since 1998. This paper discusses the different sources of attraction of these churches for young residents and the techniques through which the churches manage to address new followers.
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