22 May 2003, 12:04

Beliefs of the Adygs

Adygs belong to sunnit Islam of hanafit kind. Christianity came before Islam (6th century) and got mixed with traditional beliefs. Islam started to spread among the Adygs since the 16th century mainly due to the efforts of the Crimean and Nogai preachers. Some mountain tribes became Moslems by the beginning of the 19th century. The Caucasus war with religious propaganda caused the final assertion of Islam among the Adygs. Shamil?s naibs were actively watching that the Islam rules are followed by the Adygs. After the defeat in that war a substantial part of the population moved to the Middle east countries. Until 1920-ies there were mosques in every aul (village). In 1920-1930-ies the priests were persecuted, the mosques were destroyed. Since the beginning of 1990-ies religious life started to revive. The number of mosques is increasing, priests are being educated. The Ecclesiastical management of the Moslems of Adyg republic has been formed and is active. Representatives of the diaspora greatly help the religious revival. The mosques are filled only on holidays. They celebrate widely the holiday of the sacrifice (Curban-bairam) and the holiday of breaking the fast (Uraza). They also celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (Mavlid). The pre-monotheistic beliefs are rather vague and have a general Adyg character. There are beliefs in magic and charms, but of an Islam type. The burial and commemoration rites is mainly of Islam kind.

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