Majority of Russians identify as Orthodox Christians, far fewer fast for Lent, poll shows

  MOSCOW:  The majority of Russians surveyed (66%) identify as Orthodox Christians, according to a new poll conducted by the Russian Public ...

 


MOSCOW:  The majority of Russians surveyed (66%) identify as Orthodox Christians, according to a new poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM).

"Orthodox Christianity is the most widespread confession in Russia, and the majority of citizens call themselves Orthodox, representing a figure of 66% (down by 9 percentage points [p.p.] compared to 2017)," VCIOM said in a press release on the poll findings.

According to VCIOM, four in ten Orthodox Russians (42%) observe fasting, which is almost twice as many than in 2022 (24%). Over one-half of Russians polled do not usually observe fasting (56%, down 18 p.p. versus 2022). Only 15% of Russians were able to remember the date when observance of Great Lent begins: March 18. Another 27% said that they knew the date, but could not remember it. About 22% of respondents found it difficult to answer the question.

As many as 18% of respondents intend to observe the Great Lenten Fast (13% in both 2019 and 2021), while 52% do not plan to fast this year.

According to the survey, Russians exercise personal restraint and limit their consumption of certain items during the Great Lenten Fast. As many as 21% abstain from alcohol, while 12% give up smoking for this period of time. About 18% forswear using swear words, 14% do not eat fatty foods, and 13% give up animal-based foods. Another 9% give up fun activities and 5% lay off sexual activity.

Meanwhile, some respondents stressed that they focus more on spiritual issues during Lent and rid themselves of negative thoughts (18%), give to charity (17%), attend religious services (10%), make confessions (10%) and receive Communion (8%).

The Russia-wide VCIOM-Sputnik telephone survey was conducted on March 9, 2024. The poll surveyed 1,600 Russians over the age of 18. The margin of error at a 95% probability rate does not exceed 2.5%.


-News Feed

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Local Glob: Majority of Russians identify as Orthodox Christians, far fewer fast for Lent, poll shows
Majority of Russians identify as Orthodox Christians, far fewer fast for Lent, poll shows
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