Lipovans – Russian old believers in Romania: History and modernity

Bitkova T.G.


The article is devoted to the problems of the community of Russian Old Believers in today's Romania, as well as the history of its origin and evolution. The most common version of the origin of the term «Lipovans» is used, which is used only about to the Old Believers of Romania and its border regions. Two main historical regions of the settlement of Russian Old Believers have distinguished: Southern Bukovina and Northern Dobrudja. Having received official registration after 1989, the Lipovan Russian-Romanian Community is actively working to preserve the cultural, religious, and moral traditions of pre-Niconian Russia, as well as contributing to scientific research in the history and history of Lipovans. Despite the difficulties in relations between Romania and Russia, Lipovans enjoy financial support from the state, their representative, according to the Constitution, has a permanent seat in parliament, and a whole field of research on the history and culture of Lipovans has arisen in the scientific community. The article demonstrate how opposing foreign policy attitudes and different assessments by Russia and Romania of several of historical events of the twentieth century. The study analyzes a dissonance in the public expression of Lipovans, who are forced to show loyalty to the official policy of the host country (Romania). At the same time, they have to support the political line of the Russian state, which is perceived as a power of supporting Lipovans ancient tradition. In conclusion, it is noted that Lipovans, like other small ethnoreligious groups, concerns about the problem of preserving traditional life in conditions of technological progress and globalization, which leads to difficulties in adapting to the external environment and adversely affects the preservation of cultural, domestic and church traditions.


Romania; ethno-confessional community; Lipovans; Old Believers; culture; traditions; church.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2021.02.14

Download text