Voices from Russia

Friday, 2 March 2012

Russians are Becoming “More Orthodox”


According to a poll taken by the all-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), over the past 16 years, the proportion of Russians attending services increased from 57 percent to 71 percent. VTsIOM said that the results indicate that 7 percent attend services at least once a month, 30 percent attend occasionally, and 34 percent go sporadically. The number of those who never attend services fell from 42 percent to 26 percent. Amongst those baptised Orthodox, the proportion of those who attend services is 83 percent. At the same time, 11 percent of unbelievers said that they occasionally went to church. According to VTsIOM, 33 percent of respondents received charitable aid at one time or another, whilst 29 percent donated money to the church. VTsIOM took the poll on 18-19 February 2012; they interviewed 1,600 people in 138 locations in 46 Russian oblasts and republics.

1 March 2012



Editor’s Note:

This is BIG NEWS. As Fr Vsevolod Chaplin stated recently, its cause for celebration when 5 percent keep the Lents, for only priests’ families did so in Soviet times. If you gauge this result by what was current in 1986, when the revival began, it’s time to break out the bubbly. It’s major when one sees that KP and RIA-Novosti run full-colour supplements on the Lenten rules. Catholic and Protestant bishops in Western Europe would LOVE to have this level of participation. An American RC priest said to me, when I asked him about the level of participation of RCs at mass, “About one in six attend mass regularly, once a month. Only about 1 to 2 percent attend every Sunday. Our churches would be packed to the gills if everyone attended all the time”. Take all konvertsy caterwauling about “perfect attendance” with a block of salt. Most people choose to attend services as they will… and the figures show that about half aren’t “Christmas and Easter Christians”. That’s pretty good. God smiles… so should we.



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