18 March 2013, 10:04
Faith of Russians in omens and astrology is declining - poll
Moscow, March 18, Interfax - Russians have been losing interest in the supernatural over the years, sociological studies indicate.
While in 2000 57% of respondents admitted that they believe in omens and 52% in prophetic dreams, last February the figures dropped to 52% and 43% respectively, Interfax was told at Levada Center that conducted a special study of the subject.
Belief in omens is more inherent in women (61%), young people under 25 (62%), people with a higher education (55%) and residents of Moscow (70%) than the average person while prophetic dreams have a special meaning for women (55%), people aged 25-40 (48%), with a secondary education (46%) and living in Moscow (57%).
However, presently only 28% of respondents believe astrologers while in the past the degree of confidence was at 33%. Even fewer Russians believe that aliens visit the Earth from time to time: 26% now compared to 31% in 2000.
Astrological predictions are trusted by women (36%), young people under 25 (38%), with a secondary education (34%) living in cities with a population of 100,000-500,000, while aliens are expected more frequently by people aged 25-55 (28%), with a secondary education (33%) living in Moscow (41%).
Over the years the number of Russians believing in eternal life has contracted from 21% to 17% even though at least a half of the population in Russia claims to belong to some religion.
"The decline in the interest in supernatural can be sooner accounted to the fact that lately the mass media have been paying less attention to the subject," Oleg Savelyev, a sociologist from Levada Center, said. In his opinion, at the beginning of perestroika when the unofficial taboo on the subject was lifted, the media paid excessive attention to it. "After the demand was satisfied, the number of shows and articles about the supernatural clearly declined and as interest waned, so did faith in the extraordinary," the sociologist said.
Savelyev said some 20% of the respondents admitted that over the past six years they used the services of fortune-tellers, magicians and healers for occult purposes with varying frequency (80% did not).
Out of those who used such services 21% said their problems were always resolved, 32% said they were never resolved, and 47% admitted that help was only occasional.