Women are far more likely to identify as Orthodox than men, 71 percent as against 57 percent; but even that 71 percent is below the share the powers that be secular and religious invariably claim. Moreover, as other polls have shown, the share of those who visit church regularly or otherwise practice their faith is microscopically small.
These findings and especially their source, a polling agency with close links to the Kremlin, are intriguing because they cast doubt on Putin’s traditionalist agenda. Indeed, they suggest that there is far less support in the population for it that either he or Patriarch Kirill believe.
And that in turn means that those political leaders who favor a more secular approach or at least one that does not tilt so heavily to Russian Orthodoxy may find more support among Russians than they and most commentators assume.