True Lithuania

Asian Faiths in Lithuania (Moonies, Krishnaism, Buddhism)

New Asian faiths like the Krishnaism or the Unification church (“Moonies”) became more popular with the reestablished religious freedom in the 1990s, although the Krishna movement made minor penetrations of Lithuania’s hippie scene in 1980s. In the 1990s, the Krishna marches across major cities were a relatively common sight but have since become less popular.

In the 2000s more people embraced the Buddhist practices or certain elements of the Hindu religion such as Yoga. These practices, however, are usually not fully understood by their adherents. The long atheism years brought Lithuania to a situation where many people could not describe what they believe in with e.g. the same person claiming both that the Christianity is right and that people reincarnate like the Buddhism claims, or that the Taoist principles are correct and eventually saying that there is no God or supernatural forces altogether. Usually, such people have never read religious texts of any faith in full and only heard certain quotations, e.g. by their Yoga teacher.

According to 2011 census, there are 620 self-reported Buddhists and 350 Krishnaites in Lithuania.

Krishnaites marching with Hare Krishna chants along the Basanavičiaus street in key Palanga seaside resort during a summer weekend. Usually, Krishnaites select the most crowded locations for their marches. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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