Excerpt: "The relationship between religion and nation that is promoted by a state will have tremendous effects on religious minority groups. For religious minorities in Russia, the forms that are most utilized by the state are exclusion and strong internalism. The former leads the state to cherry-pick troublesome religious groups for exclusion, for failing to be ‘Russian’ enough, leading to serious impairment for religious groups that are singled out by the state as threats to the nation. With regards to the latter formulation, the Russian Orthodox Church is the basis for a strong internalist mechanism, determining who is in and who is out: those who are Russian are assumed to be Russian Orthodox (at least notionally); those who are Russian Orthodox are assumed to be Russian (or Russian kin and Russian controlled). It is the case, however, that this relationship will matter for other citizens, as well. Recall the Russian punk band Pussy Riot: while not typically paired with religious faithful in Russia, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Said Nursi, this band violates a central tenet of Russian life today—that Russian Orthodoxy is a critical identity for the nation, and those who ridicule this relationship will be quickly and decisively disciplined. For now, the Russian national identity is a tightly controlled identity, of chief importance to the current administration."



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