A publication from the RAND Corporation shares the findings of a study on “Religion, Conflict, and Stability in the Former Soviet Union.” The report states that, while sometimes used to mobilize supporters and increase social cohesion, religion itself has not been the source of conflict in the former Soviet republics. This multidisciplinary volume of essays presents the work of researchers and policy experts on religion and its role in existing tensions and in potential progress toward peace.
Despite the rise of religion as a visible force in the sociopolitical life of post-Soviet countries, little is known about how religion has contributed or may yet contribute to tensions or peace in this region. An improved understanding of the relationship between religion and conflict in the former Soviet republics can fill a critical gap and help inform policymakers and other actors working to bring peace and stability to this volatile region.
This volume of essays takes a multidisciplinary and cross-domain look at religion and how it affects the stability of the former Soviet republics. Contributions by a range of international researchers and policy experts on religion and conflict and the post-Soviet region address the dynamics among religion, conflict, and stability in the South and North Caucasus, Central Asia, Ukraine, and Russia. The authors found that while the role of religion varies across contexts, religion has not been the original source of conflict in the former Soviet Union (FSU). Religion has, however, increasingly been used by both states and nonstate groups to mobilize supporters, and the infusion of religion in existing grievances has exacerbated existing tensions and encumbered progress toward peace.