Russia Faces a Religious Crisis

August 29, 2019

On August 14, 2019, the Russian Center for Public Opinion (VTsIOM) published the results of an inquiry concerning the citizens of the Federation’s relationship to religion. It qualifies the image of a Russia uniformly coming back, since the fall of the USSR, to the religion of the tsars.

According to the survey of 1,600 major citizens of the Russian Federation, 63% of Russians claim orthodoxy, while 1% declare themselves atheists. On the other hand, 6% identify themselves as agnostics, 6% as non-confessional believers, 5% as Muslims, 1% as Catholics and 1% as Protestants.

Among those who declare themselves to be “orthodox,” 20% were baptized as adults: an immediate effect of the fall of communism, which allowed a return of religious, at least initially.

Because, over time, the transmission of the orthodox identity seems to have diminished, especially among the youngest: if 74% of those over 60s claim it, among 18-24 year-olds it is only 23%.

More worrying, it is within this last age group that we find the largest proportion of atheists: 37%. For comparison, the same proportion of atheists are declared among the French population, according to the Pew Research Center in a survey published in October 2018. This shows that materialism, whether dialectical and Marxist or liberal and capitalist, leads to the same moral decadence and practical atheism.

Thus, even if the Russian political authorities do not display the sectarian secularism of the leaders of certain Western countries—think of the assistance of Vladimir Putin gives to the lavish offices of the Slavonic liturgy—the growing secularization is an already recognizable fact.

The Virgin of Fatima’s request to see Russia explicitly consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by the Holy Father and the bishops of the whole world remains valid