The article focuses on the religious policy of the Russian Empire in the early modern period. The aim of the research is to study the mutual relations of the governor A.A. von Peutling and Muhammedjan Khuseinov, the first mufti of Russia and the head of the Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly at the beginning of 1790s, which influenced the religious situation on the southern and south-eastern outskirts of Russia. The base of the study is the official correspondence of A.A. von Peutling that described the place of Muslim religious institutions in the Russian system of government. The research methodology is defined by the main interpretations of the Russian religious policy, found in the literature on Islam in Russia. The author identifies the reasons and causes of the official and interpersonal conflict between the governor and the mufti as well as emphasizes the significant independence of the mufti at the beginning of 1790s on the steppe frontier. It is revealed that at that time the mufti was a more significant figure than the governor from the viewpoint of the supreme power. The author concludes that, in general, the religious policy of the Russian Empire during the examined period was invariant, but the regional specifics and subjective factors determined significant differences in its implementation in the South-East compared to the Crimea (then) and the North Caucasus (later).
The article is addressed to experts in the fields of history of religion and politics of Russia in the 18th century, religious scholars, students, masters and postgraduates of the relevant profile.
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