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Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 00:00:37 -0500
Sender: Former Soviet Republic - Central Asia Political Discussion List <CENASIA@VM1.MCGILL.CA>
From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV@VM1.MCGILL.CA>
Subject: CENASIA Digest - 12 Mar 1996 to 13 Mar 1996
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Part of a dialog from CenAsia List, March 1996

Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 21:05:55 +0800
From: "W. Tan" <tanwc@SINGNET.COM.SG>

> Most Ossetians are Orthodox Christians. However, one segment of
> the population is Sunni Muslim. The Ossetian language is a member
> of the Eastern Iranian family, which makes it a relative of the
> Pamiri languages and Yaghnabi of Central Asia, as well as languages
> which were widely spoken in Turan in ancient times such as that of
> the Sakae. John Schoeberlein-Engel

I'm curious, are they members of the Russian Orthodox Church? Or do they have their own Ossetian church? When did they became Orthodox Christians? Are there any Ossetian nationalist sites on the web? What about Gagauz, Tartar, or other sites relating to smaller nationalities of the ex-USSR?


Email : tanwc@singnet.com.sg
Homepage : http://www.singnet.com.sg/~tanwc/welcome.htm

Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 18:38:10 -0500
From: Brian Boeck <boeck@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: Re: Ossetia

As far as I know the Ossetians have been incorporated into the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church since the 18th century. They were converted to Christianity in the tenth century by the Byzantines with significant Abkhaz/Georgian assistance. Christianity seems to have flourished in "Alania" in the eleventh century when many impressive stone churches were built there (they are located on the territory of the modern republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia). The Ossetians (the descendents of the Alans) remained nominally Christian thereafter, but most of the population still continued pagan practices. The Ossetians were largely "reconverted" in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the Russians.

There was also an Islamic presence in Alania from the eleventh century onward.

Brian J. Boeck

Harvard U. History Dept.