Lithuanian Baltic religion Romuva
Romuva movement started its activities in 1967, was suppressed by the Soviets in 1971 and is tolerated since 1988, although attempts to restore Baltic Romuva’s religion started in XIX century.
The name “Romuva” were chosen in honour of the famous Baltic Prussian sanctuary Romuva, which was destroyed by Christians. “Romuva” means “temple” or “Sanctuary” as well as “abode of inner peace”. Sources from the 14th century state that in the center of Baltic lands (today Kaliningrad region), there existed Romuva sanctuary, which was revered by all Baltic nations, the eternal fire burning there spread her light and peace throughout the entire Baltic coast and even further.
Romuva’s philosophy’s central idea is the sacredness of Nature, which is based on Baltic beliefs and ethnic folkloric tradition. Christianity was half accepted only in 18th-19th century. For this reason Lithuanian folklore, beliefs and customs retained the pre-Christian features to high degree even to this day. Lithuanian Baltic folklore, especially the mythological dainas (songs), legends and the traditional way-of-life, is the basis of Lithuanian Baltic religion.
After Lithuania restored it’s independence in 1990, Romuva began to organize conferences, summer-camps and care of historical monuments and nature objects. These activities gained approval by Lithuanian public. The government limited itself only by formally recognising our organization, without supporting it. Lithuania Romuva embraces 30 communities and has several thousands members. Romuva is lead by Jonas Trinkunas. He was declared in 2002.10.19 as Krivis – highest priest of the Romuva. Within these communities it is possible to combine the worship of nature with rituals of christenings, weddings, burials and calendar feasts. In Romuva summer camp pagans from other countries are also present.
In 1991-1992 Romuva congregations were established and incorporated in Vilnius, Kaunas, Chicago, Boston and Toronto.
Romuva embodies the oldest religion in the Baltic region, which has no beginning, predates recorded history, and extends its spirit indefinitely in the Baltic culture. This religion is based on folk beliefs, myths and folk songs (dainos).
Romuva worships one supreme reality, which encompasses the worlds of the living and of the dead, the family and tribe, including all ancestors, all of nature, and the universe.
Love, kindness, inspiration, embracement of the human manifestation, positive action, and conduct in accordance to the universal law of Darna define the path of Romuva. Morality is the most important ideal of nature and man and is attained and maintained through persistent effort. Romuva teaches great reverence for all forms of life. It is a religion of human nature and human life with nature.
A central feature of the faith is the sacred fire. Fire is considered the only worshipful symbol, the great purifier and sustainer.
The Romuva movement is an integral part of the revival and recovery of Europe’s ancient religions..
Jonas Trinkunas, Krivis of the Romuva –
Tel. (+370 5) 216 29 66, +370 67674057
Vivulskio g. 27-4, Vilnius LT-2009, Lithuania