Dear Readers: A long time supporter of the Mystagogy Resource Center has informed me that they would like to donate $3000 to help me continue the work of this ministry, but they will only do it as a matching donation, which means that this generous donation will only be made after you help me raise a total of $3000. If you can help make this happen, it will be greatly appreciated and it would be greatly helpful to me, as I have not done a fundraiser this year. If you enjoy the work done here and want to see more of it, please make whatever contribution you can through the DONATE link below. Thank you!
(Total So Far - Day 6: $2350)

March 30, 2010

Russian Converts to Orthodoxy Increasing - Poll

Russian Converts to Orthodox Faith Increases, Many Not Reading Bible - Poll

Moscow, 30 March 2010, Interfax - The percentage of Orthodox believers went up from 70% to 75% in Russia in 2009, reaching the highest level since the beginning of measurements, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center told Interfax.

When asked about their religious affiliation, 5% of the respondents named Islam (from 7% the year before), and less than 1% named Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, and Buddhism.

The number of atheists in 2009 went down to 8% from 16% in 2006.

The overwhelming majority of Orthodox Russians (84%) have been baptized. At the same time, over one-third of those who consider themselves atheists (39%) have also been baptized.

The poll shows that the percentage of those who have read the Bible and have not read it is equal (49%). The percentage of those who are familiar with the contents of the Holy Scripture is the highest among older people (60%), highly educated respondents (57%), and Orthodox believers (54%).

Two-thirds of Russians (66%) perform religious rituals. However, 27% of the respondents said they only do so on holidays and 28% said they do so occasionally. This figure is higher among Orthodox believers (73% of the respondents who consider themselves Orthodox believers follow religious traditions). The percentage of those who do not perform religious rituals has gone down to 32% from 37% in 2006.

One-fourth of the respondents said they believe new people are being converted to religion. One out of five Russians believe people have simply stopped hiding their religious feelings, 16% believe it is just an outward trend, and 17% said they are not noticing any changes in people's religious feelings.

The poll was conducted on January 23-24. It surveyed 1,600 people living in 42 regions, territories, and republics of the Russian Federation.