MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. The Rite of Baptism should be conducted in childhood, 60% of Russians interviewed by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center said. On the other hand, 34% of the respondents favored baptism in adulthood, the pollster stated on Wednesday.
"Speaking about the optimal period for being drawn into the Orthodox faith, most are in favor of being baptized in childhood (60%). <…> At the same time, one-third of those polled believe that it is better to decide on being baptized in adulthood (34%)," the Russian Public Opinion Research Center stated.
About 63% of the respondents are adherents of Orthodox Christianity, 5% said they were Muslims, 1% - Catholics, 1% - Protestants. About 15% described themselves as non-believers, while 6% said they were seesawing between religion and atheism.
According to the poll, 84% of Orthodox adherents have been baptized, 66% of them by decision of their parents or relatives and 20% on their own. One-fifth of those who decided to be baptized claimed they had been driven by the desire to become a member of the Church, having a moment of realization that this was necessary along with their state of mind. Another 15% said that, by doing so, they wanted to set their faith in God, while 14% took their cue from their baptized relatives.
"In analyzing the results of the survey, it is necessary to comprehend the growing trend around the emerging crisis of faith in general and Orthodox Christianity in particular. Generation Z, or the so-called first fully-digital generation, professes a noticeable increase in the share of non-believers with an almost threefold reduction in the portion of those who consider themselves Orthodox Christians. <…> The lag in modernizing the old formats of interaction with the younger generation could be a fatal milestone in determining the new place and role of the institution of faith in society," Kirill Rodin, head of the pollster’s Social and Political Studies Department, is quoted as saying.
The survey was conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center on July 26, 2019, with 1,600 people aged 18 and above interviewed over the phone. The margin of error does not exceed 2.5%.