Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What Do The Russians Believe In?

08.11.2004


In recent decade, the words about “religious revival” have entered the language of Russian mass media. What changes in people’s consciousness are implied by these words? Russian psychologists have investigated the issue.



The Yuri Levada Analytical Center has published the data of the All-Russian representative surveys on the problem of religiousness, the surveys having been conducted annually since 1989 up to now. As only approximately 4 percent of survey respondents called themselves adherents of Islam, all the data refers to Orthodoxy.

First of all - self-appraisal: in 1989-1991, 30 percent of population related themselves to Orthodox, in 1995-1998, 40 to 50 percent and more than 50 percent - in 1993-1994 and after 1999. Women, aged respondents and people with incomplete secondary education most often than others rank themselves believers. However, the growth in number of people who considered themselves believers was also observed in the 1990s among young people, men and persons with higher education. Moreover, the share of people saying “I believe that the God really exists and I do not doubt that” is growing. In 1991-98-2000, accordingly 13-24-30 percent of respondents said that.


What do the Russians specifically believe in? In life after death (the 1998 data) – 30 percent (45 percent among believers), in the paradise and the hell – 24 percent (40 percent among believers), in religious miracles – 28 percent (42 percent among believers). In addition, 30 percent of Russians believe astrologers and 50 to 55 percent believe in prophetic dreams and omens. It is not quite clear how people can consider themselves pious without believing in the paradise and the hell and religious miracles, but the Russians have always been characterized by breadth of thinking. Some sociologists, however, call this phenomenon schizophrenic dual consciousness.

As compared to other countries and nations, the Russians believe in witches more frequently than the USA inhabitants (37 percent and 24 percent, respectively), but Americans believe in the paradise, angels, devil, hell, God and for some reason in ghosts 1.5 to 2 times more frequently. According to international comparative investigations embracing 43 countries, in terms of interest to occultism, witchcraft and unidentified flying objects (UFOs) Russia occupies one of the first places in the world along with Ukraine, Venezuela and Mexico, having left materially-minded and practical Europeans far behind.

The attitude towards the Church as organization is characterized by slow fall of confidence both among believers and the overall society (“quite deserves credit” in 1993 – 57 percent, in 2003 – 37 percent). The persons who visited the church at least once a month accounted for 5 percent in 1991, 9 percent in 1998 (maximum), 6 percent in 2003 (in the US, a quarter of respondents younger than 29 and half of persons of older age visit the church on a weekly basis). Among believers, 18 percent think that they should have privileges in Russia compared to people of other faith and atheists, 26 percent wish that the Communist Party became the most influential political force in Russia again and 18 more percent assume that “this would be rather good”.

In 1998, 83 percent of believers not once in that year perfomed an alms-deed (along with that, it is the charitable function of the church that is considered the most important by 40 percent of believers) and 93 percent did not perform any activity in favor of the church.

That means that the faith has general psychological significance for them, it calms down emotionally but does not impose any obligations, nor dictates norms or anticipates personal responsibility. The Russians do understand all that themselves: 71 percent agree that “many people in Russia only want to show their belonging to faith and church, but few have proper belief”.

It should be added to the above that several years ago psychologists published the data on the society’s attitude towards marginals, and although the findings were fearful, they did not change. For instance, in 1989-1994-1999, 27-18-12 percent of citizens respectively suggested that prostitutes should be killed, 31-22-15 percent suggested that homosexuals should be killed, and 29-26-21 percent suggested that drug addicts should be killed. Now, these numbers have started to grow: in 2003, they made 14 percent, 21 percent, 25 percent in each category respectively. In general, Russians are responsive to propaganda: for example, 27 percent of respondents now suggest to kill members of religious sects (the number was 4 percent in 1989).

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>