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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>