15 April 2013, 10:01
Russians want friendlier relations between Orthodox, Catholic Churches - poll
Moscow, April 15, Interfax - More than half of Russian citizens (58%) characterized the current relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches as normal working relations and 9% find them friendly, sociologists from the Levada Center told Interfax.
Nevertheless, some people believe the relations between the two Churches are currently lukewarm, tense (14%), or even hostile (2%).
The poll showed that 29% of the respondents find these relations rather close and friendly, 40% believe they should be better, and 6% believe the two Churches are close enough.
More than half of the respondents (56%) called the election of the new Pope an important event and 33% said they are not very excited about this event. Thirty-five percent of the respondents confirmed that they followed the election of the Pope, 47% said they have heard something about it, and 18% said they know nothing about it.
The poll shows that Russians expect the relations between the two Churches to improve after the election of the new Pope (38% of the respondents believe the relations are most likely to improve and 5% said they believe the relations will definitely improve). Fifteen percent of the respondents believe the relations are not likely to improve.
The majority of the respondents (71%) polled in 130 populated areas of 45 regions of Russia in late March said they would like Pope Francis to visit Russia, while 9% said they do not want him to do so.
Speaking about the influence of the church on the state, the majority of the respondents (65%) spoke against it, and 26% spoke in favor of it. The majority of citizens are convinced this influence exists now: 48% believe this influence is just what is needed, 19% believe it is somewhat more than is needed, and another 6% believe there is too much of it. Fifteen percent of the respondents believe this influence is not enough.
Thirty-four percent of the respondents said they find the role of religion in societal life important, 43% said religion does not play the most important role in their life, and 19% said it does not play any role in their life.
Speaking about religion in secondary school programs, 60% said school students could study history or religion and the foundations of religious morals if their parents want them to, 17% believe religion should not be studied in schools, and 15% suggested re-introducing the teaching of God's Law in secondary schools to all students who want to study it.