Press-releases

Attitudes to religion

These survey were carried out: a) January 23–29, 2020 on 1603 people and b) February 20–26, 2020 on 1614 people constituting a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents age 18 or older from 137 localities in 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the total number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a selection of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%
2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%
2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%
1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

MASLENITSA AND LENT

MASLENITSA BEGINS ON FEBRUARY 24. ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GOING TO MAKE BLINY (CREPES) ON THE WEEK OF MASLENITSA; WILL YOU EAT MEAT OR MEAT-BASED PRODUCTS; ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE GUESTS OR GO TO SOMEONE’S HOUSE TO CELEBRATE MASLENITSA; ARE YOU GOING TO ATTEND PUBLIC CELEBRATIONS; WILL YOU CELEBRATE MASLENITSA IN A DIFFERENT FASHION? (one answer)

Mar. 97 Mar. 00 Mar. 03 Feb. 08 Feb. 10 Jan. 12 Mar. 13 Feb. 14 Feb. 16 Feb. 17 Feb. 20
Planning to make bliny (crepes) 68 72 80 75 79 76 74 64 70 69 77
Planning to have guests over or go to someone’s house to celebrate Maslenitsa 37 35 40 37 33 39 34 33 30 41 39
Will eat meat 48 27 31 27 30 33 44 24 24 31 37
Planning to go to public celebrations for Maslenitsa 16 19 21 25 21 25 21 27 23 27 35
Will celebrate Maslenitsa another way 10 4 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 2 5
Not planning to celebrate Maslenitsa 16 15 11 14 12 11 11 16 11 13 12

LENT STARTS ON MARCH 2. WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING TO EAT DURING THIS TIME: SAME DIET AS USUAL; PARTIALLY FAST (E.G. NO MEAT OR ALCOHOL); FULLY FAST DURING THE LAST WEEK; OR WILL YOU FULLY FAST FOR THE ENTIRE SEVEN WEEKS? (one answer)

       Mar. 98 Mar. 00 Mar. 03 Feb. 08 Feb. 10 Jan. 12 Mar. 13 Feb. 14 Feb. 16 Feb. 17 Feb. 20
Same diet as usual 79 77 77 79 73 74 69 71 75 73 78
Planning to fast partially (no meat, alcohol, etc.) 11 14 16 15 19 17 21 18 16 18 16
Planning to fast completely for the final week of Lent 5 2 2 2 2 4 3 4 4 4 1
Planning to fast completely for the entire seven weeks 4 3 3 2 3 1 2 2 3 2 3
It is difficult to say 1 4 2 2 3 4 5 5 2 5 2

VIEWS ON RELIGION

WHAT ROLE DOES RELIGION PLAY IN YOUR LIFE? (one answer)

Oct. 05 Sep. 07 Jan. 12 Mar. 13 Feb. 16 Feb. 20
A very important one 11 6 6 5 6 12
A fairly important one 27 26 24 29 28 28
Not a very important one 39 41 45 43 40 35
No role at all 20 24 20 19 22 24
It is difficult to say 2 3 5 4 4 2

HOW RELIGIOUS DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE? (one answer)

Aug. 14 Dec. 15 Jun. 17 Dec. 18 Jan. 20
Very religious 4 4 9 9 9
Somewhat religious 31 36 44 43 42
Not very religious 37 32 33 28 28
Not at all religious 26 23 13 17 20
It is difficult to say 3 5 2 3 1

WHICH OF THE STATEMENTS LISTED BEST REFLECTS YOUR BELIEF IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD? (respondents were presented with a card with a list of answers from which they could choose only one or write in their own)

May 91 Sep. 98 Jan. 08 Feb. 09 Aug. 14 Dec. 15 Oct. 17 Dec. 18 Jan. 20
I don’t believe in the existence of God 18 19 10 6 7 8 10 8 9
I don’t know whether or not God exists and doubt that it is possible to have proof of his existence 18 11 9 8 10 10 9 7 9
I don’t believe in God, but I believe in a higher power 18 13 11 11 14 16 11 12 14
I sometimes believe in the existence of God and sometimes don’t 11 12 14 13 15 15 13 13 11
I believe in the existence of God, though I sometimes have doubts 15 16 21 21 19 17 19 17 17
I know that God exists and do not have any doubts 14 24 32 36 29 25 31 38 35
Other (“He exists within us,” “believe in miracles,” “I believe in the existence of a higher power that governs the universe”) 1 <1 <1 <1 <1 <1 1 1
It is difficult to say 5 6 4 5 7 9 7 5 4

DO YOU BELIEVE THE CHURCH SHOULD INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT DECISION-MAKING? (one answer)

Oct. 05 Oct. 07 Jan. 12 Mar. 13 Feb. 16 Jun. 17 Dec. 18 Jan. 20
Definitely yes 16 7 6 5 6 6 8 9
Probably yes 26 22 20 21 18 22 16 18
Probably not 27 33 37 39 38 36 31 28
Definitely not 24 28 28 26 28 22 41 40
It is difficult to say 8 10 10 10 9 14 6 5

DO YOU ASSOCIATE WITH A SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS DENOMINATION? IF YES, THEN WHICH ONE? (respondents were presented with a card listing possible answers, and they could choose only one answer; ranked in descending order)

Jan. 20 Feb. 20
Orthodoxy 65 68
Islam 7 7
Protestantism 1 <1
Buddhism 1 1
Catholicism <1 <1
Judaism <1 <1
Hinduism <1 <1
Other (“shamanism,” “Shinto,” “Altaic faith, spirits, mountains”) 1 1
No denomination 18 16
Atheist 7 6
Difficult to say / refuse to answer 1 1

 Trends in responses over decades*

Jan.
90
May.
00
Aug.
10
Feb.
20
Orthodoxy 33 52 70 68
Catholicism <1 <1 <1 <1
Islam 1 4 4 7
Other 1 1 1 1
None / atheist 66 35 21 22

 *The table includes only one measure for each decade. This is determined by differences in the wording of the question between surveys; trends in the share of respondents that associate with “Orthodoxy” can be seen in the graphic below.

Answer distribution based on respondents’ religious identification**

Total sample Orthodoxy Islam No denomination Atheist
WHAT KIND OF DIET WILL YOU HAVE DURING LENT?
Same diet as usual 78 73 82 95 94
Planning to fast partially (no meat, alcohol, etc.) 16 22 3 3 4
Planning to fully fast for the final week of Lent 1 2 <1
Planning to fully fast for the entire seven weeks 3 3 5 1
It is difficult to say 2 1 11 1 1
WHAT ROLE DOES RELIGION PLAY IN YOUR LIFE?
A very important one 12 12 36 1 1
A fairly important one 28 36 37 4 2
Not a very important one 35 38 12 34 17
No role at all 24 12 11 60 78
It is difficult to say 2 1 4 1 2
HOW RELIGIOUS DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE?
Very religious 9 9 30 1
Somewhat religious 42 53 53 14 5
Not very religious 28 30 13 31 20
Not at all religious 20 7 4 53 75
It is difficult to say 1 1       — 2 1
WHICH OF THE STATEMENTS LISTED BEST REFLECTS YOUR NOTION OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD?
I don’t believe in the existence of God 9 3 4 19 51
I don’t know whether or not God exists and doubt that it is possible to have proof of his existence 9 6 3 18 18
I don’t believe in God, but I believe in a higher power 14 13 1 23 16
I sometimes believe in the existence of God and sometimes don’t 11 12 8 10 3
I believe in the existence of God, though I sometimes have doubts 17 22 11 8 3
I know that God exists and do not have any doubts 35 41 68 15 4
Other 1 1 1 2
It is difficult to say 4 3 5 6 4
DO YOU BELIEVE THE CHURCH SHOULD INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT DECISION-MAKING?
Definitely yes 9 11 14 4 4
Probably yes 18 22 10 9 10
Probably not 28 32 25 21 14
Definitely not 40 32 35 59 67
It is difficult to say 5 3 16 8 5

 ** The tables only include denominations with a significant proportion of answers.

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

The ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents. Read the Director of the Levada Center’s statement of disagreement with this decision here.

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