#1 - JRL 7034
About 80% Russians Say They Are Orthodox Christians
MOSCOW, January 25. About 80% Russia's citizens say they are Orthodox
Christians. This is according to the statement made at a press conference
by Cyril, Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. He said this does not
mean that everyone in the 80% attends church services, yet, theologically,
these people are Orthodox Christians.
Metropolitan also said that earlier the Russian Orthodox Church had been
the force uniting the Russian state. 'The church survived through the years
of genocide but lost its strength', he added. 'Now the church, supported by
the people, is once again part of public, though not political life.
Non-participation in politics allows the Church to carry on with its
prophetic mission, that is, speak the truth and be the voice of conscience.
It is not to us to judge how successful we are. We believe that Russia is
also the home of religious minorities and they have every reason to feel