Crisis, Conversion, and Conflict

Evangelical Christianity, Rapid Change, and the Eastern Khanty

in Sibirica
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This article discusses preliminary findings from our research into the activity of evangelical missionaries among the Khanty of Surgut region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. Our aim is to begin to define the nature and the scale of recent developments in the religious life among the eastern Khanty; to understand why evangelical missionary activity among the Khanty has met with some success; to discover how the conflicts it precipitates make visible the hidden, implicit divisions in communities; and to lay out lines of further inquiry that may help integrate the work of those ethnographers exploring similar phenomena in Siberian communities. This article argues that rapid change, brought about by intensive petroleum development coupled with the collapse of Soviet structures, provided openings for these new ideologies by altering objective conditions of Khanty life.

Sibirica

Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies