The Old Baltic Faith Romuva movement and state recognition


  • Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson



Contemporary paganism, religion and state, religious minorities, state recognition, Lithuania


This article describes the efforts by the Old Baltic Faith Romuva movement to gain official state recognition from the government of Lithuania. By analysing the existing legal basis for such recognition and the national parliament’s reluctance to grant this status to the Romuva, it highlights the dynamics of the relationship between the state and religious minorities in Lithuania. The case study describes the difficulties faced by (non-Christian) religious minorities seeking recognition and reveals various problematic issues in the process: discrepancies in the basis for a such recognition; political decision making based not on legal but on cultural and worldview aspects of the issue; and the Roman Catholic Church’s ability to influence the process.

Author Biography

Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson

Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson is an associate professor in cultural studies and anthropology of religion at the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University, Lithuania. She has published on the material collected during her fieldwork on (post-)Soviet religiosity, alternative religious movements, and subcultures (Vissarionites and Anastasians, communities of Hare Krishna, Buddhists, Romuva and others). Since 2016, she has been a correspondent for information concerning the sociological and legal aspects of religion in Lithuania for the French National Research Center (CNRS) and the University of Strasbourg, France. From 2018 to 2022, she was the president of the Lithuanian Society for the Study of Religions.