29 June 2012, 16:20
Russians want Orthodox Church to be more open and cancel fees for rites – poll
Moscow, June 29, Interfax - Most Russians (53%) don't want anything changed in the operations of the Russian Orthodox Church or its clergy, judging by the results of a poll taken by VTsIOM in June.
Other respondents suggested that the Church "stick solely to religious activities" (4%), "cancel fees for performing rites and stop trade in churches" (3%), "attract young people to churches" (2%), "stop interference in politics", "pay more attention to spiritual upbringing" and "introduce religious studies in schools" - 1% each. One third remained undecided.
Like a year ago most of the polled noticed no changes in the functioning of the Russian Orthodox Church since the enthronement of Patriarch Kirill - 78% now and 83% in 2011. Others said the church has come closer to the people (4%), old churches are restored and new ones are built (3%).
In addition, 2% noticed closer interaction between the Church and the state and the growing influence of the Church, 1% - greater attention to spiritual education, 3% - greater corruption within the Church.
For the first time respondents mentioned greater media attention to the Church (1%).
The main feeling that Patriarch Kirill arouses in Russians is respect (46%). He also arouses hope (27%), confidence (19%) and sympathy (17%).
Negative emotions are rare: mistrust (4%), disappointment (2%), skepticism, dislike and condemnation (1% each). Besides, 13% of the polled are indifferent to the Patriarch.