In the multinational Kalmyk Republic one can meet followers of all world religious teachings. Buddhists and Orthodox Christians are a majority. There is a Catholic Chapel in Elista, and in Prikumsky settlement of the Chernozemelsky region there is a Moslem Mosque.
The religious life of the society, which has been brought to nothing during the years of the power of Soviets, is restoring to life. Communes and prayer houses are being opened now. Priesthood restores its lost potential. Temples and churches are being constructed.
Kalmykia is the only place in Europe with its official religion of Buddhism.
This dogma gradually (from 13th to 17th centuries) won Oyrat-shamans hearts and minds. It brought them progress, gave an access to the riches of Tibet and Indian cultures, promoted the unity, extended the range of foreign policy links.
At the end of the 16th century and at the beginning of the 17th century Buddhism became the state religion of the Oyrats and the Kalmyks.
In many respects the accepted religion has formed the Kalmyks mentality, their way of life, their culture. Peaceableness, restraint, meditativeness, philosophy of life, high moral principles, cultivated by Buddhism, became distinguishing national features. Till the end of the 20th years of the 20th century the Priesthood was an influential force in Kalmykia and it firmly took care of eastern orientation of its political and spiritual life.