Church has too much influence on state, more and more Russians say


Eastern Europe


Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia during an award ceremony in Moscow on 20 November 2021. Photo EPA, Mikhail Metzel

In the last five years, the number of Russians who believe that the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and religious organisations have too much influence on the state, has almost doubled.

This follows from the December survey of the Levada Center, about which the Russian website Rain writes.

In 2016, 5 per cent of respondents thought that the influence of the Orthodox Church on the state was too strong. By December 2021, this percentage had increased to 11 per cent. The majority of the respondents (44 per cent) believe that the church has "exactly as much influence as it should be."

Of all the participants in the poll, 18 per cent believe that the ROC influences the state "a little more than necessary"; 8 per cent think "a little less than necessary". Nine per cent rated the church's influence as "too little".

According to the survey, 21 per cent of the Russians believe that the church and religious organisations should not interfere in public life. It is the highest figure in the last ten years. Of the respondents, 46 per cent say the church should support public morality and morality. Forty-one per cent named the church's role as helping poor and low-income people.

The ROC should satisfy the spiritual needs of believers and help preserve cultural traditions, 39 per cent believe. Another 31 per cent define the church's role as supporting charity and the ideas of mercy.



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