According to the 2003 census, 8% of the population of Abkhazia adheres to Abkhaz neopaganism. On 3 August 2012 the Council of Priests of Abkhazia was formally constituted in Sukhumi. The possibility of making the Abkhaz native religion one of the state religions was discussed in the following months.
The traditional Abkhaz religion was actually never completely wiped out; circles of priests, whose activity was kept secret, passed on traditional knowledge and rites in the times when Christianity and Islam became dominant in the region, and later in Soviet times of anti-religion. Such priests continued the worship of deities such as the thunder god Afy and the supreme god Antsua.
Since the 1980s, and later in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Abkhaz native religion was resurrected by the joint efforts of priests who began to resurface, rural people reactivating local rituals, and urban intellectuals supporting Paganism as an integral part for a reawakening of the Abkhaz ethnic and cultural identity.
Since then the Abkhaz native religion has been protected by Abkhaz authorities. Government officials took part in a bull sacrifice in October 1993 celebrated to thank the Lord Dydrypsh for the victory over the Georgians, and since then they regularly take part in worship rituals.
Filatov, S; Shchipkov, A (1996), "Поволжские народы в поисках национальной веры (Povolzhskie narody v poiskakh natsional'noi very) [Volga region peoples in search of national faith]", in Filatov, SB (ed.), Религия и права человека: На пути к свободе совести (Religiia i prava cheloveka: Na puti k svobode sovesti) [Religion and Human Rights: Towards Freedom of Conscience] (in Russian), Moscow: Nauka, pp. 256–84.
Krylov, AB (1998a), "Абхазское святилище Дыдрыпш: прошлое, настоящее и устная традиция (Abkhazskoe sviatilishche Dydrypsh: proshloe, nastoiashchee i ustnaia traditsiia)" [Abkhaz sanctuary Dydrypsh: Past, Present and oral tradition], Этнограрусское обозрение (Etnogra cheskoe obozrenie) [Ethnography review] (in Russian), 6: 16–28.
——— (1998b), "Дыдрыпш-ныха: святилище Абхазов (Dydrypsh-nykha: sviatilishche abkhazov)" [Dydrypsh-nykha: sanctuary Abkhazes], Азия и Африка сегодня (Aziia i Afrika segodnia) [Asia & Africa today] (in Russian), 6: 55–58 & 7, 1998 b: 54–56.
——— (1999), "Абхазия: возрождение святилища (Abkhazia: vozrozhdenie sviatilishcha)" [Abkhazia: the revival of the Sanctuary], Азия и Африка сегодня (Aziia i Afrika segodnia) [Asia & Africa today] (in Russian), 4: 70–72.
Kuznetsov, Igor V. (2018), "Sacred Sites in the Western Caucasus and the Black Sea Region: Typology, Hybridization, Functioning", in Darieva, Tsypylma; Mühlfried, Florian (eds.), Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces: Pilgrims, Saints and Scholars in the Caucasus, Berghahn Press, pp. 97–112.