Society for the Anthropology of Europe
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
“Flying Community” is a group of people from different places of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Italy, and Christian denominations that see themselves as one community. Its uniting ground is Orthodox Christians identity of participants and in rare cases wider Christian denominations affiliation, Catholic, and few Protestant Christians. The community is a part of Comunione e Liberazione (hereafter — CL), an Italian-rooted Roman Catholic-based religious movement that has disseminated globally to 90 countries. In the 1950s-60s, CL developed as an active anti-communist group, inspired by one of the prophesies by the Lady of Fatima regarding the consecration of Russia, and expanded their activities to the former Soviet Union. Together with The Russia Cristiana foundation established in Seriate, Italy, in 1957, Italian CL members supported Christians and dissident movement in the former Soviet Union creating a mission in Siberia, which later relocated to the European part of Russia having formed a center in Moscow.
The structure, denominational variety, and geography of “Flying Community” become a new phenomenon for CL; it breaks several patterns typical for religious formations in the Catholicism and Orthodoxy. To review the role of a local context in community's formation, I consider CL as transnational communication (Beyer 2006) in the context of the mixing of cultures (Hannerz 1996) and de-privatization of religion (Casanova 2008, 2013, 2017) in the globalization process and in the particular religious situation in Ukraine fueled by the political and armed conflicts.