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Many consider Russia to be the largest concentration of Orthodox Christians in the world, and with good reason. But a recent poll shows the situation may be more complex than that.
Number of Orthodox up in Russia but only few go to church, pray regularly – poll
Moscow, July 4, Interfax – The share of Russian citizens considering themselves Orthodox grew from 52% in 1997 to 68% in 2014, sociologists of the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) said, citing a poll.
According to the survey conducted in late May in 100 cities, towns and villages in 43 Russian regions and involving 1,500 respondents, 19% of Russians do not consider themselves religious, 6% are Muslims, and 1% refer to themselves as non-Orthodox Christian confessions (Catholics, Protestants, Uniates, Baptists etc.).
Only 13% of the Orthodox believers go to church once a month or more, take communion regularly, know church prayers and read morning and evening prayers, the survey showed.
Moscow Orthodox respondents can be called half-church-going (29%) or little-church-going (27) but in 2014 both groups decreased 4%, while the share of those little (from 16% to 22%) or very little church-goers (from 8% to 10%) grew, sociologists said.
When asked “how often do you go to church?,” 32% said they have never been there, 19% said they go to church several times a year, 18% one-two time a year, 14% less than once a year, and 8% go monthly.
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