Staunton, May 16 – Despite the obvious tilt toward Russian Orthodoxy that the Putin regime has displayed especially in recent months, Russians as a whole do not see religion as an important part of their lives, according to the results of a new survey released by the Levada Center sociological center.
While 14 percent of all Russians do say religion is a very important part of their lives and 26 percent more say that it is important to them, 59 percent – nearly three out of five – say that it has a not very important role (33 percent) or no role at all (26 percent), the poll reports (levada.ru/2023/05/16/religioznye-predstavleniya-2/).
As one would expect, older people are more religious than younger ones; but it is striking that over the past year, the number of visits to religious services Russians report making has remained almost unchanged. In surveys this year and last, more than 40 percent said they did not attend any services at all.
There has been a small increase in the share of those who attend services at least once a month, up from eight percent a year ago to 12 percent now, more likely because people want to pray or find sustenance during a military conflict than because they are taking their lead from the Kremlin.
The latest survey also reported on the religious affiliations Russians claim. Seventy-two percent say they are Orthodox, seven percent that they are Muslims, and three percent to others, including Catholicism, Protestantism and Buddhism. Thirteen percent do not identify with any denomination, and five percent say they are atheists.
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