Religious books more popular in Russia


Eastern Europe


Visitors choose books during the IX Red Square Book Festival at the Red square in Moscow. Photo EPA, Yuri Kochetkov

The share of religious literature sold in Russia is rising again for the first time in five years. At the same time, sales of mystical and occult books are falling.

Russians are increasingly interested in religion, psychology and self-development. The largest publishing group in Russia, Eksmo-AST, notices this in its market analysis. It shared some insights with the Russian news outlet RBC. The religion segment grew in 2023 by 40 per cent in monetary terms. The company did not disclose absolute figures.

Since 2017, the sales of religious literature have been declining. However, esotericism (occult and mystic books) was on the rise. First and foremost, Tarot cards became popular. According to Yevgeny Kapiev, general director of the Eksmo publishing house, this was due to the “high degree of uncertainty in the world.” According to him, people felt that only Tarot cards could give answers.

However, this year, a reversal occurred: people began to turn to the church.


Meanwhile, the Russian press agency TASS reports that a study has shown that more than half (57 per cent) of the country calls themselves Orthodox Christians. Furthermore, 40 per cent of the respondents stated that religion plays an important role in their lives. In addition, 15 per cent of Russians go to a house of worship every month.

KADER: ### What religious books did Russians buy?

According to RBC, Metropolitan Tikhon’s book “Unholy Saints and Other Stories” became the sales leader in the religion category. Other popular titles were “First Steps to God”, “The Power of Women’s Prayer”, “Prayers for Peace and Tranquility” and “The Virgin, Miraculous Icons and Prayers to Her”.



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