Edited machine translation
A growing number of Muslims in Russia
Levada Center: The number of Orthodox in Russia has decreased; muslims have increased
Sociologists at Levada Center published the results of a survey of the religion to the people of Russia. Experts have found that in recent times the number of Orthodox has decreased, while the number of practicing Muslims, on the contrary, increased.
In the U.S., a growing number of Muslims saw a threat to Russia.
The Analytical Center for Sociological Studies figured out how Russian people relate to religion, and compared the results with similar studies during the past three years. The survey showed that since 2009 the number of Orthodox Christians in Russia decreased by 6%. In December 2009, 80% of respondents chose Orthodoxy as their religion, while in November of 2012, the number was 74%.
At the same time, according to the Levada Center, the number of Muslims in Russia is growing.
Three years ago, Islam was professed by 4% of the population, and now by 7%. The number of [Roman] Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus in Russia is about the same - around 1%. The number of those who prefer not to identify with any religion has increased. This year, they numbered 10%.
Sociologists have found that a third of Orthodox residents of Russia (33%) go to church to light a candle and pray. About the same number (29%) come to christenings, weddings and funerals, or when they just desire to be in chuch.Only 11% take part in religious services and liturgies. Many priests say that people can be counted as Orthodox on the basis of how often they participate in sacraments - confession and communion.The Levada Center reports that in Russia, there are only 7% of such people. While 24% of the Orthodox never come to church.
The vast majority of the Orthodox (61%) do not read the Bible. 24% of the respondents are familiar with the Gospels, 16% read the Old Testament, and 11% - the New Testament. In addition the Levada Center learned how Russian people to relate to the initiative to make insulting the feelings of believers a criminal offense. 35% of respondents are inclined to believe that insulting the religious feelings is worthy of an article in the Criminal Code, and 14% are definitely sure. 24% are inclined to believe that an article in the Criminal Code is an excessive measure, while 10% ae quite confident.
The priest-in-charge of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Kokhly, priest Alexei Uminsky, told "Gazeta.ru", that there are many different opinions about who exactly can be considered Orthodox. "Nobody can stop people from considering themselves to be Orthodox, and to somehow identify themselves as Orthodox.The question is what everyone means by this: people can refer to themselves as Orthodox because of baptism; because of their historical/cultural tradition, or from the point of view of a real profession of faith, deep involvement in the life of the church and fulfilling the commandments. Such people are generallu called practicing Orthodox "- said Uminsky.
"It is clear that the practicing Orthodox -- those for whom Orthodoxy - is the center of their lives and their self-consciousness, of course, do not number 75%. However, we can not draw a sharp distinction. It also happens that yesterday someone was part of that majority of 75% and tomorrow they are practicing "- explained Fr. Alexei.
Meanwhile, the United States sees a threat to Russia from the Muslim population. Thus last week the National Intelligence Council of the United States presented a report entitled "Global Trends 2030: alternative worlds." The greatest danger for Russia is seen by experts in the rapid growth of the Muslim population, while while the the number of ethnic Russian is becoming lower. According to them, now in Russia there are about 20 million Muslims; that is about 14% of the population. It is expected that by 2030, their share will rise to 19%. "The changing ethnic composition of the population of Russia, it seems, is already a source of growing social tensions," - noted American experts.
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