Monday, May 23, 2022

    In Russia, growing discontent over ROC excessive influence on government

    In the last five years, the number of Russians who believe that the Russian Orthodox Church is having an excessive influence on the government has almost doubled.

    This was reported by Dozhd TV, referring to a poll conducted by Levada Center in December 2021.

    The data shows that in 2016 the influence of the ROC on the state was assessed as excessive by 5% of respondents, while in 2021 their number increased to 11%. At the same time, as many as 44% of respondents believe that the Moscow Patriarchate exerts as much influence as the situation requires. Another 18% of Russians believe that the influence of the ROC is slightly greater than necessary.

    At the same time, 21% of Russian nationals are convinced that the ROC, like other religious organizations, should not interfere in government affairs at all.

    Also, compared to previous years, the number of Russians who opposed the presence of religion in schools has increased. In December 2021, 31% of respondents supported this opinion, while in 2013, their share was half of that.

    Quite disappointing for the Moscow Patriarchate are the answers Russians gave to questions about their own religiosity. Despite statements by the ROC clergy and government officials that the people in Russia are overwhelmingly Orthodox and deeply religious, only 7% of Levada respondents identified as religious, 43% – as religious to some degree, 30% identified as non-religious, and 20% – as totally non-religious.