The Russian Orthodox Church and The political Elite

Russian Studies in Philosophy 33 (1):77-82 (1994)
Abstract
One of the most interesting phenomena of our religious-political life is the considerable difference in attitude toward religion between the popular masses and the political elite. In our survey of public opinion, the respondents had to express their attitude to two alternative statements: "There are national, traditional religions in our country. They should have more rights than representatives of religions that are new to our country "; and "All religions should have absolutely equal rights." Only 9 percent agreed with the first statement, while the vast majority agreed with the second. Even among the Orthodox, adherents of the Moscow patriarchy, only 13 percent were supporters of special patronage by the state for the traditional religions, while those who advocated an equality of religion made up 69 percent. Thus, the idea of a state church is alien to the contemporary popular consciousness. The evolution of mass consciousness is toward an even greater amorphousness and indefiniteness with regard to religion and further away from the idea of a national, state church. The data confirming this have already been presented. Let me just recall that the percentage of persons who approved of the church's participation in political life decreased from 74 percent to 48 percent from 1990 to 1991
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