The Russian Orthodox Church: out of date or modern?

07/23/2012

17% of Russians agree that the Russian Orthodox Church is conservative and out of date, 47% with the fact that the church has kept pace with time – such data is from a nationwide survey.

The material is based on data from nationwide representative survey, in which the Russians were invited to mark their agreement or disagreement with the following statements:

A. Russian Orthodox Church has kept pace with the time

B. Russian Orthodox Church is conservative and outdated

The greatest influence on the perception of the Russian Orthodox Church has been the degree of confidence in the respondent’s answers to the Church and Patriarch Kirill. The church is called conservative 35% of respondents who do not trust the Holy Church, and 37% of respondents whose trust in the Church in recent years has decreased. 56% of those who trust in the Church and the Patriarch remains, by contrast, believe that the Russian Orthodox Church has kept pace with the times. Among those not trusting Cyril, only 31% hold this view.

 The religion of respondents also had an impact on the distribution of responses. Orthodox respondents who consider themselves attached to the Russian Orthodox Church are the second largest percentage of respondents who think the Church has kept up with the times today (59%). Among Muslims and nonbelievers, the share of such respondents are only 36% and 30% respectively. The Orthodox who do not consider themselves attached to the Church, often find it conservative:  27% of them believe the church is aging. Interestingly, the largest number of respondents who perceive the church as a progressive institution are health workers – 64%.

 Most believe that the church leaders are conservative at various levels are voters for Mikhail Prokhorov, Sergei Mironov and Gennady Zyuganov, the respondents with high income, and residents of the Northwest District, and residents of megacities. People who say the church is more modern often are residents of small towns and villages, the population of the South and the North Caucasus district, the voters of Vladimir Putin, older respondents and women.

32% of Russians found it difficult to mark their agreement or disagreement with the statement “The Russian Orthodox Church has kept pace with the times”. The greatest challenge to this question was had by the inhabitants of the Far East (53%) and the Urals (45%) of federal districts and by non-believers (50%). With the approval of the “Russian Orthodox Church is conservative and outdated” 39% of Russians failed to give a response. Once again, those who failed to note their agreement or disagreement of were the inhabitants of the Far Eastern region (60%) and non-believers (57%) and respondents with lower than average levels of education (53%), low-income (51%), Muslims (49%) and rural residents (47%).

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Комментарии экспертов к итогам опроса

(Русский) Андрей Мельников, Ответственный редактор приложения к «Независимой газете» - «НГ-Религии»

Нельзя сказать, что в этих двух высказываниях обозначены полностью противоположные понятия.

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