Belgorod Oblast is a federal subject of Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Belgorod. Population: 1,532,526. At the turn of the 17th century, a solid line of military fortifications was built in the area, stretching for 800 kilometers. Ukrainian Cossacks, who moved here because of the nobility and the tax burden, were in charge of the line defenses. More Cossacks moved to the area during the Khmelnytsky Uprising and the internecine wars in the Cossack Hetmanate. Belgorod became the military and administrative center, after originating as an outpost on the southern borders of Russia. Following the Battle of Poltava, Peter I granted to soldiers of Greater Belgorod the regiment flag. From 1708 to 1727, the territory of the modern Belgorod Oblast was part of Kiev and Azov Governorates. In 1727, Belgorod Governorate was established from parts of Kiev Governorate; the governorate lasted until 1779. This territory was much greater than that of today, the governorate incorporated territories of modern Kursk and parts of Bryansk and Kharkiv Oblasts.
The coat of arms of the then-Governorate is still used by the modern Belgorod Oblast. In 1775–1779, the territory of Belgorod Governorate was abolished and divided between the newly formed governorates and vice-royalties; the city of Belgorod and the area around it became a part of Kursk Vice-Royalty, while the southeastern uyezds became a part of Voronezh Governorate. During the 19th century and up until 1928 the territory of modern Belgorod Oblast remained part of Kursk and Voronezh Governorates. After the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in April 1918, in January 1919 the territory was incorporated into the Ukrainian State under hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi; the current administrative-territorial boundaries of Belgorod Oblast were formed by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 6 January 1954. The oblast was formed from several districts of Voronezh Oblasts. For the courage and resilience shown by the people of Belgorod Oblast in defense of the Motherland during the Great Patriotic War, for progress in reconstruction and development of national economy.
On 4 January 1967, Belgorod Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin, in 1980 the city of Belgorod was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, first degree. In 2007, the city of Belgorod received the honorary title of the City of Military Glory. Belgorod Oblast is part of the Central Federal District, it borders with Luhansk and Sumy Oblasts of Ukraine in the south and west, Kursk Oblast in the north and northwest, Voronezh Oblast in the east. The total length of its borders is about 1,150 kilometers, of which 540 kilometers are on the border with Ukraine; the area of the oblast is 27,100 square kilometers. The oblast is located in the southwestern and southern slopes of the Russian Upland in the Dnieper and Don River basins, in the steppe zone of elevated hilly plain with an average height of 200 meters above the sea level; the highest point is 277 meters above sea level, in Prokhorovsky District. The lowest point is located at the bottom of the Seversky Donets River valleys; the climate of Belgorod Oblast is temperate continental with a mild winter with some snowfall and long summers.
Average annual air temperature varies from +5.4 °C to +6.7 °C, being warmer on average in the southeast than the north. The coldest month is January and the frost-free period is 155–160 days, with an average of 1800 hours of sunshine. Rainfall is uneven by year and season, with an average of 540–550 mm although rainfall can differ between the western and northern areas and the warmer, drier eastern and southeast where some years lows of around 400 millimeters has been recorded. Over 40% of known iron ore reserves of Russia are concentrated in the oblast. Deposits are confined to the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly area. Among them are Korobkovsky, Lebedinskoye and prospective Prioskolskoye iron ore deposits in Stary Oskol District, Bolshetroitskoye in Shebekinsky District, as well as Yakovlevskoye and Pogremetskoye fields. Identified and explored in varying degrees are the large deposits of bauxites, underground mineral waters, numerous deposits of construction materials such as chalk, sand and more.
There are known occurrences of gold and other rare metals. Geographical features make the oblast to have deposits of platinum and other minerals. Rivers and marshes occupy about 1% of the oblast's territory. There are streams; the largest of them are in the northwest — the Seversky Donets, Vorsklitsa, in the eastern regions — the Oskol, Tikhaya Sosna, Chyornaya Kalitva, Valuy. The total length of the river network is 5,000 kilometers, in addition, there are 1,100 ponds and four artificial reservoirs; the fauna of Belgorod Oblast is predominantly of the meadow-steppe variety and comprises, by various estimates, from ten to fifteen thousand species. About 10% of the animal species are in need of special protection. Fifty species are included in the IUCN Red List. There are about 279 species including 152 which breed in the oblast; the richest bird populations include sparrows. The richest bird populations include sparrows.
Epiphany Theophany, Little Christmas, or Three Kings' Day, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. In Western Christianity, the feast commemorates principally the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Moreover, the feast of the Epiphany, in some Western Christian denominations initiates the liturgical season of Epiphanytide. Eastern Christians, on the other hand, commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. Qasr el Yahud in the West Bank, Al-Maghtas in Jordan on the east bank, is considered to be the original site of the baptism of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist; the traditional date for the feast is January 6. However, since 1970, the celebration is held in some countries on the Sunday after January 1. Eastern Churches following the Julian calendar observe the feast on what for most countries is January 19 because of the 13-day difference today between that calendar and the used Gregorian calendar.
In many Western Christian Churches, the eve of the feast is celebrated as Twelfth Night. The Monday after Epiphany is known as Plough Monday. Popular Epiphany customs include Epiphany singing, chalking the door, having one's house blessed, consuming Three Kings Cake, winter swimming, as well as attending church services, it is customary for Christians in many localities to remove their Christmas decorations on Epiphany Eve, although those in other Christian countries remove them on Candlemas, the conclusion of Epiphanytide. According to the first tradition, those who fail to remember to remove their Christmas decorations on Epiphany Eve must leave them untouched until Candlemas, the second opportunity to remove them; the word Epiphany is from Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια, meaning manifestation or appearance. It is derived from the verb φαίνειν, meaning "to appear." In classical Greek it was used of the appearance of dawn, of an enemy in war, but of a manifestation of a deity to a worshiper. In the Septuagint the word is used of a manifestation of the God of Israel.
In the New Testament the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:10 to refer either to the birth of Christ or to his appearance after his resurrection, five times to refer to his Second Coming. Alternative names for the feast in Greek include τα Θεοφάνια, ta Theopháneia "Theophany", η Ημέρα των Φώτων, i Iméra ton Fóton, hē Hēméra tōn Phṓtōn, "The Day of the Lights", τα Φώτα, ta Fóta, "The Lights". Epiphany may have originated in the Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire as a feast to honor the baptism of Jesus. Around 200, Clement of Alexandria wrote that, "But the followers of Basilides celebrate the day of His Baptism too, spending the previous night in readings, and they say. And some say that it was observed the 11th of the same month." The Egyptian dates given correspond to January 6 and 10. The Basilides were a Gnostic sect; the reference to "readings" suggests. In ancient gospel manuscripts, the text is arranged to indicate passages for liturgical readings. If a congregation began reading Mark at the beginning of the year, it might arrive at the story of the Baptism on January 6, thus explaining the date of the feast.
If Christians read Mark in the same format the Basilides did, the two groups could have arrived at the January 6 date independently. The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A. D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus. The holiday is listed twice, which suggests a double feast of birth; the baptism of Jesus was assigned to the same date as the birth because Luke 3:23 was misread to mean that Jesus was 30 when he was baptized. Epiphanius of Salamis says, he asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day. Epiphanius assigns the Baptism to November 6; the scope to Epiphany expanded to include the commemoration of his birth. In the Latin-speaking West, the holiday emphasized the visit of the magi; the magi represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world, so this was considered a "revelation to the gentiles." In this event, Christian writers inferred a revelation to the Children of Israel. John Chrysostom identified the significance of the meeting between the magi and Herod's court: "The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews.
In this way the birth of Jesus would be made known to all."In 385, the pilgrim Egeria described a celebration in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which she called "Epiphany" that commemorated the Nativity. At this early date, there was an octave associated with the feast. In a sermon delivered on 25 December 380, St. Gregory of Nazianzus referred to the day as "the Theophany", saying expressly that it is a day commemorating "the holy nativity of Christ" and told his listeners that they would soon be celebrating the baptism of Christ. On January 6 and 7, he preached two more sermons, wherein he declared that the celebration of the birth of Christ and the vis
Elijah or latinized form Elias was, according to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a miracle worker who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah defended the worship of the Hebrew God over that of the Canaanite deity Baal. God performed many miracles through Elijah, including resurrection, bringing fire down from the sky, entering Heaven alive "by fire", he is portrayed as leading a school of prophets known as "the sons of the prophets". Following his ascension, his disciple and most devoted assistant took over his role as leader of this school; the Book of Malachi prophesies Elijah's return "before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD", making him a harbinger of the Messiah and of the eschaton in various faiths that revere the Hebrew Bible. References to Elijah appear in Ecclesiasticus, the New Testament, the Mishnah and Talmud, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, Bahá'í writings. In Judaism, Elijah's name is invoked at the weekly Havdalah rite that marks the end of Shabbat, Elijah is invoked in other Jewish customs, among them the Passover Seder and the brit milah.
He appears in numerous stories and references in the Haggadah and rabbinic literature, including the Babylonian Talmud. The Christian New Testament notes, but Jesus makes it clear that John the Baptist is "the Elijah", promised to come in Malachi 3:1 in the Septuagint. Elijah appears with Moses during the Transfiguration of Jesus. In Islam, Elijah appears in the Quran as a prophet and messenger of God, where his biblical narrative of preaching against the worshipers of Baal is recounted in a concise form. Due to his importance to Muslims and Orthodox Christians, Elijah has been venerated as the patron saint of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1752. According to the Bible, by the 9th century BC, the Kingdom of Israel, once united under Solomon, was divided into the northern Kingdom of Israel and southern Kingdom of Judah, which retained the historical capital of Jerusalem along with its Temple. However, scholars today are divided as to whether the united Kingdom under Solomon existed. Omri, King of Israel, continued policies dating from the reign of Jeroboam, contrary to religious law, that were intended to reorient religious focus away from Jerusalem: encouraging the building of local temple altars for sacrifices, appointing priests from outside the family of the Levites, allowing or encouraging temples dedicated to Baal, an important deity in ancient Canaanite religion.
Omri achieved domestic security with a marriage alliance between his son Ahab and princess Jezebel, a priestess of Baal and the daughter of the king of Sidon in Phoenicia. These solutions brought security and economic prosperity to Israel for a time, but did not bring peace with the Israelite prophets, who were interested in a strict deuteronomic interpretation of the religious law. Under Ahab's kingship, these tensions were exacerbated. Ahab built a temple for Baal, his wife Jezebel brought a large entourage of priests and prophets of Baal and Asherah into the country, it is in this context that Elijah is introduced in 1 Kings 17:1 as Elijah "the Tishbite". He warns Ahab that there will be years of catastrophic drought so severe that not dew will form, because Ahab and his queen stand at the end of a line of kings of Israel who are said to have "done evil in the sight of the Lord." No background for the person of Elijah is given except for his brief description as being a "Tishbite." His name in Hebrew means "My God is Yahweh", may be a title applied to him because of his challenge to worship of Baal.
As told in the Hebrew Bible, Elijah's challenge is direct. Baal was the Canaanite god responsible for rain, thunder and dew. Elijah not only challenges Baal on behalf of God himself, but he challenges Jezebel, her priests and the people of Israel. After Elijah's confrontation with Ahab, God tells him to flee out of Israel, to a hiding place by the brook Chorath, east of the Jordan, where he will be fed by ravens; when the brook dries up, God sends him to a widow living in the town of Zarephath in Phoenicia. When Elijah finds her and asks to be fed, she says that she does not have sufficient food to keep her and her own son alive. Elijah tells her that God will not allow her supply of flour or oil to run out, saying, "Do not be afraid... For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth." She feeds him the last of their food, Elijah's promise miraculously comes true. God gave her "manna" from heaven while he was withholding food from his unfaithful people in the promised land.
Some time the widow's son dies and the widow cries, "You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, to cause the death of my son!" Elijah prays that God might restore her son so that the trustworthiness of God's word might be demonstrated. 1 Kings 17:22 relates. This is the first instance of raising the dead recorded in Scripture; this widow was granted the life of the only hope for a widow in ancient society. The widow cried, "...the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.". After more than three years of drought and famine, God tells Elijah to return to Ahab and announce the end of the drought: not occasioned by repentance in Israel but by the command of the Lord, who had determined to reveal himself again to his people
Slavic Native Faith's identity and political philosophy
Slavic Native Faith is intrinsically related to the identity of the Slavs and the broader group of populations with Indo-European origins. Scholar Kaarina Aitamurto has studied Rodnovers' political philosophy as a form of "democratic criticism of liberal democracy", or grassroots democracy, they propose a political system in which power is entrusted to assemblies of consensually-acknowledged wise men, or to a single wise individual. Scott Simpson states that Slavic Native Faith is "fundamentally concerned with questions of community and ethnic identity". Shnirelman notes that the movement is "obsessed with the idea of origin". Rodnovery displays greater concern for collective rights than individual rights. Most Rodnover groups will permit only Slavs as members; the notion that modern Rodnovery is tied to the historical religion of the Slavs is a strong one among practitioners. There is no evidence that the early Slavs, a branch of the Indo-Europeans conceived of themselves as a unified ethno-cultural group.
There is an academic consensus that the Proto-Slavic language developed from about the second half of the first millennium BCE in an area of Central and Eastern Europe bordered by the Dnieper basin to the east, the Vistula basin to the west, the Carpathian Mountains to the south, the forests beyond the Pripet basin to the north. Over the course of several centuries, Slavic populations migrated in northern and south-western directions. In doing so, they branched out into three sub-linguistic families: the East Slavs, the West Slavs, the South Slavs; the belief systems of these Slavic communities had many affinities with those of neighbouring linguistic populations, such as the Balts and Indo-Iranians. Vyacheslav Ivanov and Vladimir Toporov studied the origin of ancient Slavic themes in the common substratum represented by Proto-Indo-European religion and what Georges Dumézil studied as the "trifunctional hypothesis". Marija Gimbutas, found Slavic religion to be a clear result of the overlap of Indo-European patriarchism and pre-Indo-European matrifocal beliefs.
Boris Rybakov emphasised the continuity and complexification of Slavic religion through the centuries. Many Russian Rodnover groups are critical of democracy, modern liberal democracy, which they see as a degenerate form of government that leads to "cosmopolitan chaos". According to Shnirelman they favour instead political models of a centralised state led by a strong leader. Aitamurto, characterises the political models proposed by Rodnovers as based on their interpretation of the ancient Slavic community model of the veche, similar to the ancient Germanic "thing". Nineteenth- and twentieth-century intellectuals interpreted the veche as an anti-hierarchic and democratic model, while Soviet Marxist tended to identify it as "pre-capitalist democracy"; the term had ethnic and national connotations, which were underlined by nineteenth-century Slavophiles, nationalist circles in the last decades of the Soviet Union and from the 1990s onwards. Many Rodnover groups call their organisation structure veche.
Aitamurto finds that it proves to be useful in what she terms as Rodnvery's "democratic criticism of democracy". According to her, the veche as interpreted by Rodnovers represents a vernacular form of governance similar to ancient Greek democracy. According to the view shared by many Rodnovers, while liberal democracy ends up in chaos because it is driven by the decisions of the masses, who are not wise. Ynglists call this model samoderzhavie, "people ruling themselves". Western liberal ideas of freedom and democracy are traditionally perceived by Russian eyes as "outer" freedom, contrasting with Slavic "inner" freedom of the mind. Aitamurto describes many Rodnovers' political philosophy as elitism, in which not everyone is reputed as having the same decision ability. In these ideas of grassroots democracy which comes to fruition in a wise governance, Aitamurto sees an incarnation of the traditional Russian challenge of religious structures and alienated governance—such as autocratic monarchy and totalitarian communism—for achieving a personal relationship with the sacred, at the same time a demand of social solidarity and responsibility.
She presents the interpretation of the myth of Perun who slashes the snake guilty of theft, provided by Russian volkhv Velimir, as symbolising the ideal relationship and collaboration between the ruler and the people, with the ruler serving the people who have chosen him by acting as an authority who provides them with order, in turn is respected by the people with loyalty for his service. Some Rodnovers interpret the veche in ethnic terms, thus as a form of "ethnic democracy", in the wake of similar concepts found in the French Nouvelle Droite of Alain de Benoist; the ethnic dimension emphasised by Rodnovers becomes a form of nationalism, has been characterised as ethnic nationalism. Aitamurto suggested that Russian Rodnovers' conceptions of nationalism encompass three main themes: that "the Russian or Slavic people are a distinct group", that th
Native Polish Church
Native Polish Church, Rodzimy Kościół Polski – a West Slavic pagan religious association that refers to ethnic, pre-Christian beliefs of the Slavic people. The religion has its seat in Warsaw. Temples gathering local believers are spread throughout the country, The RKP was registered with the Polish Ministry of the Interior's registry of denominations and churches in March 1995; the name of the Native Polish Church was inspired by the name of a church associating the descendants of the native peoples of America, the Indians: the Native American Church. As the Native American Church, the Native Polish Church refers to the old ethnic beliefs, at the same time respecting all later-come religions; the term Church that appears in the organisation’s name is used to denote a religious organisation of believers and their clergy. The beliefs of the Native Polish Church are on one hand based on the concept of henotheism, a mixture of pantheism and polytheism on the other – i.e. the belief that fate is decided by a cosmic force known as the Highest God, whose various aspects are manifested in the form of other, minor gods.
While the Polish Native Church recognises the highest god to be Świętowit, other names from the highest circles of the Slavic pantheon are used. The god’s true name will always remain beyond human perception. Members believe that the Highest God cannot be described in terms of good and evil, nor using any other human, subjective criteria. At the same time believers accept that these criteria may be applied to minor gods and goddesses who dwell somewhat nearer to human existence. Other gods and goddesses watch over specific aspects of nature and are synonymous with nature itself; the Native Polish Church uses three major religious symbols. These are the Hands of God, an ideogram denoting the Highest God as well as the universe and the cosmic balance towards Nature flows. Cyclic: Jare Święto – the Spring Festival, the Vernal Equinox – kindling the sacred fire, the ritual of drowning the Marzanna, decorating Easter eggs. Other: DziadyOccasional: Postrzyżyny SwaćbaThe observation of the main cyclic festivals is carried out in public and open to everybody – guests from outside the community are welcome provided they respect the native faith and culture.
The festivals’ rituals are performed according to suitable liturgy and conducted by either an ofiarnik or an appointed żerca. The Polish Native Church recognises man as part of nature and as part of society; this obliges woman and man to obey the Laws of Nature and the Laws of Social Order – in the sense of observing universal rules of social conduct, common to most cultures throughout history. These rules prohibit murder, rape and theft, they demand respect for human relations that organise social life from family to state matters. Nature is to be defended as sacred creation. While it is assumed that nature does not need any holy scriptures, be it books or regulations such as the Decalogue, to justify the sacredness of her laws, in order to avoid multiplication of entities beyond necessity, as well as recognising that the ability of woman or man to think for her or himself and maintain a sense of empathy is vital – the association avoids formulating some of the most obvious rules into ready and "correct" ways of life.
Ethics is limited to giving basic directions such as "live honourably and be a just man" or "do what thou wilt and harm none". The Polish Native Church is an open church, without any claims of exclusivity in any sense – this regards both the individual’s faith and his or her membership with churches or religious organisations. Members of the Native Polish Church insist that their Slavic ancestors were followers of the same God as the Christians and Muslims and others worship in their own special way; this means that one can be both a member of the Native Polish Church and a member of a different religious association. Therefore, membership with the Native Polish Church does not require any formal act of apostasy from the candidate’s previous faith; the only formal membership requirement is the filing of an appropriate declaration of accession that serves as a statement of creed. As Slavic Neopaganism by definition describes its own territorial scope due to its visible ethnicity, the Native Polish Church does not find a verification of its candidate’s descent to be necessary.
It is assumed that anyone who feels Polish has the right to be Polish and it was in this sense that the name Polish Native Church was founded. Indeed, the concepts declared in the founding act state that one may become a member irrespective of one’s ancestry, because the vital elements of a nation are common language and cultu
Tengrism known as Tengriism, Tenggerism, or Tengrianism, is a Central Asian religion characterized by shamanism, totemism, poly-, monotheism, ancestor worship. It was the prevailing religion of the Turks, Hungarians, Bulgars and the Huns, the religion of the several medieval states: Göktürk Khaganate, Western Turkic Khaganate, Old Great Bulgaria, Danube Bulgaria, Volga Bulgaria and Eastern Tourkia. In Irk Bitig, Tengri is mentioned as Türük Tängrisi. Tengrism has been advocated in intellectual circles of the Turkic nations of Central Asia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union during the 1990s. Still practiced, it is undergoing an organized revival in Sakha, Khakassia and other Turkic nations in Siberia. Burkhanism, a movement similar to Tengrism, is concentrated in Altay. Khukh tengri means "blue sky" in Mongolian, Mongolians still pray to Munkh Khukh Tengri and Mongolia is sometimes poetically called the "Land of Eternal Blue Sky" by its inhabitants. In modern Turkey, Tengrism is known as the Göktanrı dini.
According to Hungarian archaeological research, the religion of the Hungarians until the end of the 10th century was Tengrism. The word "Tengrism" is a new term, it is conventionally used to describe a form of Tengri-centered shamanism that prevailed on the Eurasian steppes among early Turkic and Mongol Khanates. Tengrism differs from Siberian shamanism in that the polities practicing it were not small bands of hunter gatherers like the Paleosiberians but a continuous succession of pastoral, semi-sedentarized Khanates and empires from the Xiongnu Empire till the Mongol Empire. Among Turkic peoples it was radically supplanted by Islam while in Mongolia it survives as a synthesis with Tibetan Buddhism while surviving in purer forms around Lake Khovsgol and Lake Baikal. Unlike Siberian shamanism which has no written tradition, Tengrism can be identified from Turkic and Mongolic historical texts like the Orkhon inscriptions, Secret History of the Mongols and Altan Tobchi. However, these texts are more oriented and are not religious texts like the scriptures and sutras of sedentary civilizations which have elaborate doctrines and religious stories.
On a scale of complexity Tengrism lies somewhere between the Proto-Indo-European religion and its form the Vedic religion. The eastern steppe where Tengrism developed had more centralized, hierarchical polities than the western steppe. Tengrism has been noted as more centralized, less polytheistic, less myth-intensive and more focused than the paganism that grew out of the western Proto-Indo-European religion. Nonetheless, the chief god Tengri is considered strikingly similar to the Indo-European sky god *Dyeus and the structure of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is closer to that of the early Turks than to the religion of any people of Near Eastern or Mediterranean antiquity. Tengrists view their existence as sustained by the eternal blue sky, the fertile mother-earth spirit and a ruler regarded as the holy spirit of the sky. Heaven, spirits of nature and ancestors provide for every need and protect all humans. By living an upright, respectful life, a human will keep his world in balance and perfect his personal Wind Horse, or spirit.
The Huns of the northern Caucasus believed in two gods: Tangri Han, considered identical to the Persian Aspandiat and for whom horses were sacrificed, Kuar. Tengrism is practised in Sakha, Buryatia and Mongolia in parallel with Tibetan Buddhism and Burkhanism. Kyrgyz means "we are forty" in the Kyrgyz language, a reference to the forty clans of Manas, a legendary hero who united forty regional clans against the Uyghurs – Kyrgyzstan's flag has 40 uniformly-spaced rays. Several Kyrgyz politicians are advocating Tengrism to fill a perceived ideological void. Dastan Sarygulov, secretary of state and former chair of the Kyrgyz state gold-mining company, established the Tengir Ordo: a civic group promoting the values and traditions of Tengrism. Sarygulov heads a Tengrist society in Bishkek claiming nearly 500,000 followers and an international scientific center of Tengrist studies. Articles on Tengrism have been published in social-scientific journals in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and former Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev have called Tengrism the national, "natural" religion of the Turkic peoples.
Gun Ana - the sun Umay – Goddess of fertility and virginity Bai-Ulgan – Greatest deity, after Tengri Erkliğ – God of space Erlik – God of death Flag of Sakha Republic Flag of Kazakhstan Flag of Chuvashia Göktürk coins Tree of Life Öksökö Tengrism was brought to Eastern Europe by the Bulgars. It lost importance when the Uighuric kagans proclaimed Manichaeism the state religion in the eighth century. Tengrism played a large role in the religion of the Gok-Turk and Mongol Empires. Gok-Turk translates as "celestial Turk". Genghis Khan and several generations of his followers were Tengrian believers until his fifth-generation descendant, Uzbeg Khan, turned to Islam in the 14th century; the original Mongol khans, followers of Tengri, were known for their tolerance of other religions. Möngke Khan, the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, said: "We believe that there is only one God, by whom we live and by whom we die