True Lithuania

New Eastern European faiths in Lithuania

The Soviet Union left many Lithuanians fluent in Russian and in need of certain spiritual guidance. The same situation also prevailed in the other lands of the former Soviet Union. Therefore, the ideas of the new prophets that appeared in Russia in the 1990s quickly spread across the former Union, gaining some adherents in Lithuania as well.

However, you won’t find these people unless you will search for them. Many of these faiths do not require any outward symbols that would distinguish people professing them from the Christians or the atheists. The exception here is the Anastasians, followers of the ideas by Vladimir Megre (and a girl called Anastasia V. Megre supposedly met in Siberian forests). These people move to the countryside where they own what they call the “family garden” or the “space of love”. This is a territory of 1 ha per each family where they grow food and Siberian pines (called “cedars” in Russian), held to be of special importance. An Anastasian community may be found in Sukiniai, Ukmergė district municipality.

Other, less visible „Post-Soviet faiths“ include the Vissarion one, claiming that a person called Vissarion who built a new village in Siberia is the second coming of Christ. Additionally, there is the New Thought-inspired Transurfing of Vadim Zeland and others.

Perhaps due to the Soviet stigma of being religious many followers of these movements deny their religiousness by claiming that what they follow is a „philosophy“, „lifestyle“, „science“ or simply „the truth“ instead. They may style themselves to be either atheists, agnostics or Christians in censae.

A modern house in Anastasian community in Sukiniai, Ukmergė district municipality (Aukštaitija region). This village is being developed deep in the countryside and is probably the largest among Anastasian communities. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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