Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Levada Centre sez More and More Russians Embrace the Meaning of Lent, But Only 2 Percent Intend to Follow It Strictly

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics.  Replacement Ingredients in Lenten Periods. 2012

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Levada Centre specialists spoke to Interfax concerning their research into the depth of Lenten observance in the Russian population. This year, sociologists found that a record number of Russians (26 percent overall), intend to observe the traditional Lenten discipline in one way or another. During an all-Russian poll, 21 percent of respondents confirmed that they’re going to observe a partial fast this year… for example, giving up meat or alcoholic beverages. Over the past five years, this category has increased by six percent (it was 15 percent in 2008, a 40 percent rise in the period studied).

In particular, the respondents in this category were executives/supervisors (31 percent), disabled (27 percent) women (28 percent), Russians over 55-years-old (67 percent), college-educated (29 percent), upper-middle class (29 percent), residents of rural communities (24 percent), and citizens of small cities (less than 100,000 population) (23 percent). According to the survey, this year, as before, 3 percent of respondents are going to follow all the rules of fasting only during Holy Week, and 2 percent shall follow the fast strictly for all seven weeks of Lent.

Pensioners, women, and Russians over 55-years-old all had the highest proportions of those who intend to follow a strict Lenten rule, either in full, or during Holy Week alone. In 2008, 79 percent of Russians stated they that wouldn’t modify their diet during Lent; in March of this year, that figure fell to 69 percent. The groups that most often reported that they don’t intend to modify their diet are schoolchildren and college students (87 percent), business owners (82 percent), housewives (81 percent), men (79 percent), Russians under 25 (83 percent), those with secondary education only (77 percent), upper-middle class (77 percent), and citizens of medium-sized cities (100,000-500,000 population) (72 percent).

27 March 2013

Interfax-Religion

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=50567

Editor’s Note:

Break out the bubbly! The above figures are FANTASTIC. As Fr Vsevolod Chaplin observed, in 1985, virtually no one kept the Lent. A quarter of the total Russian population intends to keep at least some part of the Lent, which means that about a third of all Orthodox Christians in Russia shall observe the Lent in one way or another. That’s great… and the growth is gradual and natural, not forced-draft and phoney (as one sees amongst the konvertsy in the USA). That’s the way REAL Orthodoxy operates… one person at a time giving the “good contagion” to another… as St Serafim Sarovsky put it, “Save your own soul, and thousands will be saved about you”. We don’t need “crusades”, “mission conferences”, “witnessing”, or marching in political parades… we need good old-fashioned self-forgetful religion.

God blesses the one and doesn’t bless the other, that’s clear. We should follow the podvigs of Patriarch Sergei Stragorodsky and St Serafim Vyritsky… not the notional fancies of Victor Potapov, James Paffhausen, Gleb Podmoshensky, and other such pied-pipers… after all, real-deal Christians don’t make demands with a lawyer in tow, do they? Let God see and judge…

BMD

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