27 February 2012, 16:18
Percentage of Russians who attend church reaches 71% - poll
Moscow, February 27, Interfax - The number of Russians who go to temples increased considerably over the past two decades. Sociologists have found that the most frequently observed ritual is the placement of candles in church (it is observed by both believers and non-believers).
Over the past 16 years, the number of Russians who go to church, mosque, or synagogue increased from 57% to 71%. 7% of the respondents go to religious buildings at least once a month, 30% go to religious buildings from time to time, and 34% go to religious buildings rarely.
The number of Russians who do not go to temples has decreased considerably (from 42% to 26%), VTsIOM told Interfax, citing its study.
According to VTsIOM, 11% of Russians at a pension age and 11% residents of Moscow and the Moscow region and only 5% of young people and people in villages go to temples at least once a month.
83% of Orthodox respondents reported going to church. 11% of the respondents said they go into churches rarely or from time to time.
The most frequently observed ritual in church is the placing of candles. 81% percent of Russians who go to church reported observing it, and 80% of those who go to church rarely and 82% of those who go to church from time to time said they place candles in church. The ritual is equally observed by Orthodox respondents (86%) and respondents who do not consider themselves believers (81%).
The poll, which was conducted in 138 populated areas in 46 regions, territories, and republics of Russia in mid-February, shows that a considerable number of people who go to temples (38%) just speak to God, 31% read prayers, 27% kiss holy relics, 33% give alms, 29% donate money to temples, and 9% go to temples to sanctify things.
11% of those who go to temples told sociologists that they normally just watch.