Staunton, April 28 – Eighty percent of Russians say they are celebrating Easter this year, according to new VTsIOM polls; but only 50 percent know that the holiday marks the resurrection of Christ, yet another indicator that many who identify as Christians in fact have little or no knowledge as to what that faith involves.
A third of the Russians surveyed (32 percent) said they found it difficult to say what Easter was all about. Six percent confused it with Christmas and said Easter was the date of Jesus’ birth. Four percent said it is “simply a great Christian holiday” at which one remembers the dead. And three percent said it was the end of a fast (credo.press/224207/).
It is undoubtedly the case that in many countries there is a gap between those who mark any religious holiday and those who know what it stands for, but in Russia it is likely larger than elsewhere because of the communist past – and should be kept in mind when political and religious leaders insist that Russia is a genuinely Christian or even Orthodox country.