No. 81: Religious Minorities

No. 81: Religious Minorities

Author(s): Bruno De Cordier, Allan Kaval, Inga Popovaite
Editor(s): Bruno De Cordier (Special Editor), Tamara Brunner, Lili Di Puppo, Iris Kempe, Natia Mestvirishvili, Matthias Neumann, Robert Orttung, Jeronim Perović, Heiko Pleines
Series: Caucasus Analytical Digest (CAD)
Issue: 81
Publisher(s): Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich; Research Centre for East European Studies, University of Bremen; Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University, Caucasus Research Resource Centers, ASCN
Publication Year: 2016

This issue discusses religious minorities in the South Caucasus. Based on recent empirical findings and field observations, Bruno De Cordier examines the Slavic-Orthodox community in Azerbaijan. Nowadays numbering about one and a half percent of the population, the main threat to its continuity is not persecution nor pressure to assimilate, but an ageing ethnic-demographic base which is not going to be kept up to level by either natural replacement or new adherents. Allan Kaval compares the social and identity development of the Yezidi communities in the southern Caucasus and in Iraq. He argues that since the 1990s, a Yezidi national identity that, first, borrows a number of elements from Armenia’s national-commemorative narrative and that, second, could take advantage of the relative opening of borders and of modern information and communication technologies has developed among the Caucasian Yezidi. Inga Popovaite offers a concise overview of the different Muslim groups in Georgia, and discusses their identity issues and socioeconomic situation as well as the current actions of the state directed towards their integration. The Muslim communities in Georgia, which consist primarily of Azeri, Adjarians and Kist, generally form a marginal group in society since they are not perceived to be full members of the Georgian nation due to their confessional background and, in case of Azeri and Kist, linguistic factors.

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