MOSCOW, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. About 30% of Russians are planning to observe Great Lent, the longest and strictest fasting season of the year in the Eastern Orthodox Church, suggests a recent opinion poll from the WCIOM Russian Public Opinion Research Center.
Soundings recorded that fifteen years ago, only 20% of polled Russians expressed their intention to keep the fast.
“Mainly respondents aged 45-59 (37%) are willing to limit their meals nowadays,” sociologists say. “About 17% of those surveyed said they would observe the fasting rules only in part. Another 8% intend to fast only during the last week - the Holy Week. And only 5% of the respondents said they were planning to keep the fast completely.”
More than two thirds of Russians (69%), mainly young people aged 18-24 (81%), were not going to change their eating habits and to refrain from any foods during Great Lent.
WCIOM statistics show that about 40% of those polled, mainly senior citizens and residents of small towns, consider fasting as an act of self-limiting out of religious motives. A fifth of Russians regard Great Lent as a cultural and historical tradition, while for about 13% this is just a way to improve health. Every fourth respondent admitted that Great Lent was of no importance to them.
The survey was conducted on March 8-9, when 1,600 men and women in 130 towns and cities in 42 Russian regions were interviewed. The margin of error did not exceed 3.4%.