The article examines aspects of interaction and confrontation between Christianity on the one hand and folk beliefs and common traditions on the other. Examples of clashes between Christian doctrine with folk beliefs (customs and superstitions), and the attacks of the former on the latter are offered. Attempts to extirpate these beliefs by verbal exposure, by church decrees, epistles and decretals, other state legislations in the West and East could not solve the problem. Pre-Christian beliefs and ceremonies were still in use at the periphery of the Christian world during the early and late Middle Ages.
Modern ethnographic research confirms the survival of pre-Christian traditions in different spheres of the material and spiritual life of the population of the south-eastern Europe. Conflicting opinions of various scholars (archaeologists, historians, ethnographers, anthropologists and others) concerning the reasons of such a stable and long preservation of pagan beliefs are summarized.
The most vivid signs of the so called “orthodox paganism” are revealed in the funeral rituals and customs of the population in Central and South-Eastern Europe. Funeral rituals by cremation were still in use at the end of the I - beginning of the II millennium in Central and South-Eastern Europe including territories inhabited by Romanized population to the East of the Carpathian Mountains. Opinions explaining such phenomenon by poly-ethnic population to the East of the Carpathian Mountains. Opinions explaining such phenomenon by poly-ethnic structure of the population of the Carpathian region during the early Middle Ages are refuted. A comprehensive analysis reveals a presence of insignificant share of heterogeneous elements in the material culture and also certain stabilization in the funeral rites by the beginning of the II millennium which is connected with a nearly complete Christianization of populations of the Central and South-Eastern Europe and creation of centralized states and churches.