Press-releases

Church

This survey took place between 12 and 15 February 2016 and was conducted throughout all of Russia in both urban and rural settings. The survey was carried out among 1600 people over the age of 18 in 137 localities of 48 of the country’s regions.  The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the number of participants along with data from previous surveys. The statistical error of these studies does not exceed 4.1%.

WHAT ROLE DOES RELIGION PLAY IN YOUR LIFE?

Oct.05 Sept.07 Jan.12 Mar.13 Feb.16
Very important 11 6 6 5 6
Quite important 27 26 24 29 28
Not very important 39 41 45 43 40
No role 20 24 20 19 22
It is difficult to say 2 3 5 4 4

Religious VS. Secular

DO YOU THINK THAT THE CHURCH SHOULD INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT DECISIONS?

Oct.05 Sept.07 Jan.12 Mar.13 Feb.16
Definitely yes 16 7 6 5 6
Probably yes 26 22 20 21 18
Probably no 27 33 37 39 38
Definitely no 24 28 28 26 28
It is difficult to say 8 10 10 10 9

DO YOU THINK THAT RUSSIAN OFFICIALS SHOULD ACT BASED ON RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS?

Oct.05 Sept.07 Jan.12 Mar.13 Feb.16
Definitely yes 13 6 5 4 7
Probably yes 30 23 22 30 24
Probably no 26 31 31 32 31
Definitely no 20 27 26 21 26
It is difficult to say 11 14 15 13 13

DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THE OPINION THAT ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS SHOULD HAVE LEGAL ADVANTAGES OVER PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS IN RUSSIA?

May.91 Aug.97 May.03 Sept.07 Jan.12 Mar.13 Feb.16
Yes 9 15 13 8 8 8 7
Probably yes 6 12 14 13 15 17 14
Probably no 18 15 29 25 24 24 24
No 50 44 34 45 43 38 45
It is difficult to say 17 14 10 10 10 12 10

HOW MUCH INFLUENCE DO YOU BELIEVE THE CHURCH AND OTHER RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS EXERT ON GOVERNMENT POLICIES IN RUSSIA?

May.91 Sept.98 Jan.08 Jul.12 Mar.13 Aug.14 Feb.16
Too much 2 5 4 10 6 7 5
Somewhat more than is necessary 4 11 14 18 19 16 12
Exactly as much as should be 22 27 45 44 48 42 56
Somewhat less than is necessary 16 9 11 8 8 6 10
Not enough 30 13 7 7 5 5 6
It is difficult to say 26 35 19 14 14 25 10

WHAT ROLE, IN YOUR OPINION, SHOULD THE CHURCH AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS PLAY IN PUBLIC LIFE IN RUSSIA? (multiple answer)

May.91 Sept.98 Jan.08 Jul.12 Mar.13 Feb.16
They should not interfere in public life at all 8 11 15 13 11 15
Support public morals, ethics 50 46 46 50 44 47
Satisfy the spiritual needs of believers 38 36 37 49 43 41
Help the poor and disadvantaged 32 39 30 37 36 29
Support charitable work 37 34 31 32 34 29
Help preserve cultural traditions 37 28 29 30 33 30
Encourage social, national, and political harmony 27 27 22 21 18 20
Encourage the development of spiritual literature and art 11 14 13 19 16 14
Other 1 <1 <1 <1 <1 <1
It is difficult to say 5 10 10 5 6 5

DO YOU THINK THAT RELIGIOUS STUDIES SHOULD BE GIVEN A CERTAIN PLACE IN GENERAL PUBLIC SCHOOL PROGRAMS?

May.91 Mar.13 Feb.16
Religion should have no place in school 10 17 19
Students should be able to study the history of religion and basic religious ideas if they or their parents wish 59 60 61
Teaching of scripture should be reinstated in middle schools for all who want it 20 15 13
Other <1 <1 1
It is difficult to say 10 9 7

Relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT RELATIONS BETWEEN THE ORTHODOX AND CATHOLIC CHURCHES ARE CLOSE AND FRIENDLY ENOUGH, OR DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THEY SHOULD BE CLOSER AND MORE FRIENDLY, OR DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE BECOME TOO CLOSE?

Apr.05 Mar.13 Feb.16
Close and friendly enough 32 29 27
Should be closer and more friendly 45 40 43
They have become too close 6 6 7
It is difficult to say 17 25 24

HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE PRESENT RELATIONS BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH? (one answer)

Mar.13 Feb.16
Close and friendly 9 11
Normal, working 58 57
Cool, strained 14 14
Hostile 2 1
It is difficult to say 17 18

OVERALL, DO YOU APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE OF THE ACTIONS OF PATRIARCH OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH KIRILL? (survey was conducted between 22 and 25 January, 2016; N=1600)

Sept.12 Feb.13 Jan.14 Jan.15 Jan.16
Approve 69 66 69 69 71
Disapprove 28 32 29 29 27
No answer 3 2 3 3 2

FOR YOU, IS POPE FRANCIS JUST THE LEADER OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, OR ONE OF TODAY’S WORLD LEADERS, A MORAL AUTHORITY FOR PEOPLE OF MANY COUNTRIES AND FAITHS?

Apr.05 Mar.13 Feb.16
John Paul II Benedict XVI Francis
Just the leader of the Roman Catholic church 40 43 40
One of today’s world leaders, a moral authority for people of many countries and faiths 49 26 38
It is difficult to say 11 31 22

IN YOUR OPINION, WHICH CHURCH CAN RESPOND BETTER AND FASTER TO THE PROBLEMS FACED BY BELIEVERS IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD, GIVING THEM A NEW VIEW ON LIFE AND THE NEW RULES FOR LIVING THAT THEY EXPECT?

Mar.13 Feb.16
Roman Catholic Church 9 4
Russian Orthodox Church 44 47
Neither one 19 21
It is difficult to say 28 28

DO YOU THINK THAT RELATIONS BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH WOULD IMPROVE UNDER POPE FRANCIS?

Mar.13* Feb.16
Definitely yes 5 11
Probably yes 38 47
Probably no 15 8
Definitely no 3 1
It is difficult to say 40 33

*Question was given in the following form: “DO YOU THINK THAT RELATIONS BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH WILL IMPROVE UNDER POPE FRANCIS?

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT POPE FRANCIS VISITING RUSSIA?

Jul.01 Mar.13 Feb.16
John Paul II Francis Francis
Definitely positive 22 19 20
Probably positive 40 52 56
Probably negative 12 8 6
Very negative 5 1 1
It is difficult to say 22 20 17

 

 

 

 

All

Role of religion
Respondents, in whose lives religions plays an important role Respondents, in whose lives religion DOES NOT play an important role It is difficult to say

DO YOU THINK THAT THE CHURCH SHOULD INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT DECISIONS?

Definitely yes 6 10 4 15
Probably yes 18 30 12 13
Probably no 38 30 43 22
Definitely no 28 18 34 28
It is difficult to say 9 12 7 23

DO YOU THINK THAT RUSSIAN OFFICIALS SHOULD ACT BASED ON RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS?

Definitely yes 7 13 3 4
Probably yes 24 34 19 23
Probably no 31 23 35 18
Definitely no 26 16 33 14
It is difficult to say 13 14 10 41

DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THE OPINION THAT ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS SHOULD HAVE LEGAL ADVANTAGES OVER ATHEISTS AND PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS IN RUSSIA?

Yes 7 12 4 <1
Probably yes 14 14 13 23
Probably no 24 22 26 18
No 45 43 47 28
It is difficult to say 10 9 10 31

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT PRESENT RELATIONS BETWEEN THE ORTHODOX AND CATHOLIC CHURCHES ARE CLOSE AND FRIENDLY ENOUGH?

Close and friendly enough 26 30 25 21
They should be closer and more friendly 43 46 41 38
These churches have become too close 7 4 10 2
It is difficult to say 24 21 24 40

FOR YOU, IS POPE FRANCIS JUST THE LEADER OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, OR ONE OF TODAY’S WORLD LEADERS, A MORAL AUTHORITY FOR PEOPLE OF MANY COUNTRIES AND FAITHS?

Just the leader of the Roman Catholic Church 40 42 40 25
One of today’s world leaders, a moral authority for people of many countries and faiths 38 37 39 38
It is difficult to say 22 21 21 37

IN YOUR OPINION, WHICH CHURCH CAN RESPOND BETTER AND FASTER TO THE PROBLEMS FACED BY BELIEVERS TODAY, GIVING THEM A NEW VIEW ON LIFE AND THE NEW RULES FOR LIVING THAT THEY EXPECT?

Roman Catholic Church 4 4 4   <1
Russian Orthodox Church 47 56 43 34
Neither one 21 12 26 24
It is difficult to say 28 28 27 42

Translated by Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly  Monterey Institute of International Studies).