Revival of the ancient Baltic religions
>In 17th, 18th and 19th century Protestant and Catholic chronicles and church documents complain of wide spread Lithuanian heathenism practice and disinterest in Christianity. In 19th most Lithuanian were nominally Christian, i.e., they had been baptized as infants. They did not readily practice their new religion, preferred to celebrate the old holidays and traditions. The church for centuries has actively advocated the destruction and removal of Lithuanian Pagan Religion elements.
>The Balts were the very last European Pagans.
>Many Middle Age chroniclers describe the features of the Baltic pagan religion: cremation rites; the belief in reincarnation; the veneration of holy groves, trees, fields, waters and fire; the belief in the existence of many gods and spirits; sacrificial offerings and soothsayings.
>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, legends and the traditional way-of-life, is the basis of Lithuanian Baltic religion, Such traditional our attitudes correspond very well with the contemporal ecological and spiritual ideas. Eternity of Life, holiness of Earth and Nature, aspiration for Darna (harmony) - some of our ideas
>Converted to Christianity, people were forced to ignore the Zemyna - Goddess of the holy earth and were made to honour the virgin Mary. In Christian teachings Mary was not a deity, but just an instrument of God. Looking into folk traditions and art - we can see the true essence of the Goddess. The return of the ancient Goddess is unavoidable, it is demanded by nature and peoples' conscious disposition. We begin to understand that we are the children of one Mother - people, animals, trees, plants, and that the Mother lives here, near us. Let us remember the words of M.Gimbutiene, "All that is alive - is a sign of the earth's kindness. Every earth born object is full to the brim with life's strength, granted by mother earth. Tree, flower, stone and man - all from the earth. They are all full of earth's power, although in each, the power is of various shape and form."
>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. It proclaims no eternal hell, no damnation, nor eternal salvation -- only the continuity of life in the presence of divinity. It accepts all genuine spiritual paths. Each soul is free to find its own way, Whiter by devotion, meditation or service to society. Festivals, pilgrimage, chanting of holy hymns (dainas) and home worship are most valued dynamic practices.