Religious "Covid Fundamentalism" in Eastern and Central Europe: Challenges and Lessons

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Tytarenko, Vita
Bogachevska, Iryna
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The article examines specific religious and social challenges in the context of mass diseases that arose in the past and are present today during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors explain the concepts that characterize the "new" reality of state-church interactions in the time of COVID-19. The authors consider the arguments of the followers of "Covid Fundamentalism". An analysis of the reactions of different Christian confessions to the COVID-19 pandemic in Central and Eastern Europe, emphasizing the Ukrainian segment and multiple religious trends, showed that the phenomenon of "COVID fundamentalism" did not become widespread. However, in every religious community some believers disagree with lockdown restrictions. During the lockdown, believers’ behavior directly influenced their belief that they are prioritizing God’s authority over secular authority, church laws over secular laws. No direct correlation between the manifestations of "COVID fundamentalism" and the level of religiosity of the population of the analyzed countries has been found. It was not possible to draw general conclusions. Many different factors influence the situation in each country of Central and Eastern Europe. This fact significantly complicates research. The examination of the characteristics of the reaction of religious organizations seemed to be more reasonable. The article shows the religious leaders’ position is a fundamental factor in shaping believers' behavioral reactions. The article identifies vectors of changes in the functioning of religious organizations in the context of COVID-19. Inspired by the pandemic, changes in liturgical practice can stimulate the theological and social mobilization of churches and generate new trends in churches and society.
religion, church, state, COVID-19, "COVID fundamentalism", interfaith relations, challenges, article
Tytarenko V. V. Religious "Covid Fundamentalism" in Eastern and Central Europe: Challenges and Lessons / Vita Tytarenko, Iryna Bogachevska // Occasional papers on Religion in Eastern Europe. - 2021. - Vol. 42, Issue 1 (2). – P. 31-47. -