УДК 2.28.282/283



Original article


Dynamics of Ethno-Confessional Composition of the Population of the Kazan and Simbirsk Gubernias in the Second Half of the XIX Century


Petrenko N. N.



Introduction. The Kazan and Simbirsk gubernias have always been distinguished by their ethno­confessional diversity. Various religious confessions and denominations actively coexisted and interacted here: Orthodoxy, Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Mennonism, Judaism, as well as many sectarian and folk beliefs. The richest in changes in the religious composition of this region was the XIX century, towards the end of which the First All-Russian Population Census was carried out. The purpose of this article is to analyze the results of the 1897 population census in the context of the religious composition of the Middle Volga region and to correlate these data with memorable books of the previous decades of the second half of the XIX century. To reflect the dynamics of changes in the religious composition of the region.

Materials and methods. This article is based on the analysis of scientific publications and documentary materials. Important sources of work were the materials of the First All-Russian Census, reference works and periodicals. Theoretical generalizations and conclusions are made using chronological, typological methods, institutional, cultural-anthropological and statistical approaches.

Results and discussion. The first general population census of the Russian Empire, published in 1897, contains statistical data that makes it possible to compile a complete ethno-confessional picture of the country’s regions at the end of the XIX century. Also, the results of the census, when compared with information from the memory and reference books of the provinces, allow us to track the dynamics of changes in the local population. In the context of the Kazan and Simbirsk gubernias, nationwide trends can be applied: an increase in the population, an increase in the number of immigrants, the spread of religious movements less traditional for the region: Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism and others. The overall percentage of such movements is very small; however, in the second half of the XIX century, it is steadily growing, creating an extremely rich multi-confessional religious mosaic of the Middle Volga region.

Conclusion. This article shows the dynamics of the ethno-confessional composition of the population of the Kazan and Simbirsk gubernias in the era of bourgeois reforms. The data obtained in the course of the work helps to understand the nature of ethno-cultural communications at the present stage.

Keywords: religion, ethnos, religious policy, bourgeois reforms, the Kazan gubernia, the Simbirsk gubernia, Orthodox, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, traditional beliefs, church

For citation: Petrenko NN. Dynamics of Ethno-Confessional Composition of the Population of the Kazan and Simbirsk Gubernias in the Second Half of the XIX Century. Bulletin of the Research Institute of the Humanities by the Government of the Republic of Mordovia. 2024;16(1):61—72. EDN KXGMIB




1. Butkevich TI. Review of Russian Sects and Their Interpretations. Moscow;1910. (In Russ.)

2. Dietz YaE. History of the Volga German Colonists. Moscow;2000. (In Russ.)

3. Zuev YuP. Russian Catholics and Protestants in the “Canonical Territory” of the Russian Orthodox Church. State, Religion, Church in Russia and Abroad. Moscow;2007;(3):6—18. (In Russ.)

4. Klaus AA. Our Colonies: Experiments and Materials on the History and Statistics of Foreign Colonization in Russia. St. Petersburg;1869;1. (In Russ.)

5. Krasnozhen M. Gentiles in Rus. Yuriev;1903;1. (In Russ.)

6. Kurilo OV. Essays on the History of Lutherans in Russia (XVI — XX centuries). Moscow;1996. (In Russ.)

7. Mashkovtsev AA. Catholics of the Vyatka Gubernia in the Second Half of the XIX — Early XX Centuries: Numerical Composition and Placement. Bulletin of Vyatka State University. 2012;(2—1):36—44. (In Russ.)

8. Mashkovtsev AA. Confessional State Policy towards Catholics and Protestants in the Middle Volga and Ural Regions in the Second Half of the ХIХ — Early ХХ Centuries. Kirov;2015. (In Russ.)

9. Samarin YuF. Jesuits and Their Attitude towards Russia: Letters to the Jesuit Martynov from Yu. F. Samarin. Moscow;1868. (In Russ.)

10. Sokolov I. The Attitude of Protestantism towards Russia in the XVI and XVII Centuries. Moscow;1880. (In Russ.)

11. Taimasov LA. Ethno-Confessional Situation in the Kazan Gubernia on the Eve of Bourgeois Reforms. New Wave in the Study of the Ethno-Political History of the Volga-Ural Region. Sapporo;2003:106—136. (In Russ.)

12. Tolstoy DA. Roman Catholicism in Russia. Historical Study of Count D. A. Tolstoy. St. Petersburg;1876;1—2. (In Russ.)

13. Tsvetaev DV. Protestantism and Protestants in Russia before the Era of Reforms. Moscow;1890. (In Russ.)


The article was submitted 28.08.2023; approved after reviewing 30.10.2023; accepted for publication 06.11.2023.


Information about the author:

Nikolai N. Petrenko, Post-Graduate Student of Department of Archeology, Ethnography and Regional History of Ulianov Chuvash State University (15 Moskovsky Avenue, Cheboksary 428015, Russia), PetrenkoNNchki@gmail.com


Conflict of interests: the author declare no conflict of interests.


The author read and approved the final version of the manuscript.