Pew Research Study Shows Increase in Religious Affiliation

Indicates that Vast Majority Do Not Attend Services Regularly

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A recent Pew Research poll indicates that while many Russians are affiliated with Orthodox Christianity and other religions, very few attend religious services.

The study says that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the number of adults who identified themselves as Russian Orthodox shot up from 31% to 72%, between 1991 – 2008. The number of those who did not identify with any religion dropped from 61% to 18%.

Other religions, such as Protestant Christianity, Roman Catholicism, and Islam rose in the early 1990s and then leveled off.

The study indicates, however, that a rise in a affiliation did not necessarily translate into steady attendance. While the number of people who say they are religious and believe in God grew exponentially, those who attend their respective Church services rarely go.

According to Pew Research, those who attend Church either once a month or more was 2% in 1991, 9% in 1998 and 7% in 2008. The study also notes disparities in religious affiliation between men and women. 81% of women compared to 63% of men identified themselves as Orthodox Christians. However, there is not much difference in attendance, with 9% women say they attend compared to 5% of men.

The study was made from data collected throughout the course of several years with Russian adults from ages 16 years and older.

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