Religious organizations in Russia

Believer statistics

If we talk about the official statistics regarding the religious affiliation of citizens of the Russian Federation, then there are no complete data. This is due to the fact that information about this is collected exclusively through statistical and sociological surveys.

Therefore, when considering the most common religious groups, confessions, associations and organizations in the Russian Federation, it is worth relying solely on a certain statistical sample of respondents from different populated areas (cities and villages) in different constituent entities of Russia.

Religious composition

According to a survey that was conducted in 2012 regarding religion and which religious organization in modern Russia citizens belong to, the following responses were received:

  • Orthodox - 41%.
  • To believers who do not identify themselves with a certain religious affiliation - 25%.
  • Atheists - 13%.
  • There were Muslims at that time - 4.7%.
  • Christian - 4.1%.
  • Sunni Muslims - 1.7%.
  • Orthodox outside a certain church - 1.5%.
  • Pagans - 1.2%.
  • Buddhists - 0.5.
  • Old Believers - 0.5%.
  • 0.5% of the respondents identified themselves as Shiite Muslims.
  • Catholics - 0.5%.
  • Judaists - 1.5%.
  • Hinduism turned out to be about 0.5%
  • 0.5% classified themselves as Pentecostals.

Number of organizations

The number of religious organizations of different confessions officially registered in the Russian Federation at the end of 2019, beginning of 2020 is as follows:

  • Russian Orthodox Church - total 18550.
  • Old Believers - 387.
  • Roman Catholic - 237.
  • Greek Catholic - 8.
  • Armenian Apostolic Churches - 106.
  • Islamic - 5954.
  • Organizations professing Buddhism - 269.
  • Professing Judaism - 268.
  • Christian Baptists - 889.
  • Evangelists - 878.
  • Lutheran - 222.
  • New Apostolic Church - 46 organizations.
  • Presbyterian Church - 194.
  • A small number of Hindu, Sikh organizations, the Assyrian Church of Shamanism, Karaites, Molokans, the Church of the Last Testament, the Church of Christ and other organizations, which number from a few to several dozen, but not more than a hundred.


If we estimate the number of churches, temples and other religious organizations, associations in the country and how they have changed in their numerical composition, the following data should be indicated:

  • The Russian Orthodox Church in 2010 had 12.41 registered organizations. And at the end of 2019, their number already totaled 18.50 units.
  • In terms of the number of mosques, it can be noted that in the 1980s there were less than 100 such religious institutions in the USSR. And already in 2015 their number has already exceeded 7000 units. Thus, it is worth noting that over the past 30 years their number has increased more than 70 times (this statement was made by the Council of Muftis of Russia).

As the statistics of believers show, most of the world's population is adherents of a particular religion. However, people who consider themselves to be one or another belief do not always strive to perform the prescribed rituals.

Believers in Russia

According to the statement of the ROC in Russia, 80% of Orthodox believers. Today, faith in God has become fashionable and is actively promoted at the highest level. At the same time, not everyone has an understanding of what it means to be considered a church. Rather, it is the installation of an equal sign between the concept of Russian and Orthodox.

In the USSR, the policy of the state was aimed at eradicating "remnants of the past." Atheism was actively implanted in schools, schoolchildren tried to convey to their believing grandmothers the foundations of materialism. The eradication of Orthodox traditions did not pass without a trace. When the people received recommendations on the issue of faith in God, it turned out that very few people knew how to do this.

It is possible to determine how many believers in Russia not by surveys for participation in the faith, but by the number of people who observe fasting, celebrate church holidays, read the Bible, and know prayers. Number of people attending church on Easter by year:

Year Number of people 20044 900 00020065 000 00020087 000 00020094 500 00020164 000 000

There are no official statistics on such people, but according to rough estimates, there are no more than 1%. Considering how many believers there are in Russia, statistics cannot bypass the representatives of Islam. Russia in our time is inhabited by about 18-21 million Muslims (14%). According to the 2010 census, there were 15 million of them.

As in Orthodoxy, not every Muslim follows the prescriptions of the religion, ranging from halal food to five daily prayers. Religious holidays allow people who identify with their faith to express their attitude towards religion. On June 25, 2017, 250 thousand Muslims came to namaz on the occasion of Eid al-Adha in Moscow.

Believers and Atheists

The religiousness of the population is largely related to the traditions of the state. If the country went through a period of persecution of believers, then atheism was fed in the form of derogatory assessments of the mental abilities of believers. In the Soviet Union, religious people were considered backward, "dark", poorly educated. Now this position has changed, although some scholars equate religiosity with a lack of education.

However, there is a difference between belonging to a religion and believing in God. Some religions, such as Buddhism, do not consider the existence of a supreme being at all. People can believe in otherworldly forces, witches and sorcerers, fairy-tale characters, energy flows and at the same time not consider themselves believers. On the other hand, Orthodox Christians often turn to pagan rituals and rituals (fortune telling).

According to the statistics of atheists and believers, in the USA, Spain and South America, 80% of residents consider themselves to be believers. Naturally, not all believers in America follow the norms of religious life.

About a third of "Orthodox" Russians do not believe in God - this is evidenced by inexorable statistics. At the same time, various groups now and then propose to make Orthodoxy the state religion. In their arguments, they refer to the data of opinion polls, according to which "80 percent" of the population of Russia classify themselves as Orthodox.

At the same time, the voice of believers is getting louder - today they are active participants in almost all social processes, and heated discussions about the construction of new churches or mosques, teaching religion in schools and the prohibition of abortion do not arise out of thin air.

How many believers in Russia actually are and whether their quality is more important than quantity - in the material of RIA Novosti.

Interests have run

From year to year, sociologists unanimously record an increase in the number of believers. For example, since 1991, more and more Russians have begun to trust in God in everyday life. The same can be said about the confidence of citizens in the ROC and religious organizations in general (data from VTsIOM).

The most recent data is provided by the well-known American research center Pew. According to him, 71% of Russians profess Orthodoxy (in 1991 there were 37% of them) and 75% of the Russian population believe in God. The study also provides data on Muslims - 10% of them.

Sociologists have noticed an interesting detail: in Russia and Eastern Europe, the overwhelming majority of believers associate their worldview with national identity. Moreover, in Russia, according to the data of American scientists, even Muslims and atheists tie national identity to Orthodoxy.

"For the sake of ideology"

"In what statistical mirror the Orthodox" make up "130 million people is completely incomprehensible. At best, 4-8% of the population of Russia falls under the traditional, one might even say, churchly understanding of religiosity, which is from five to 12 millions of people ", - says Pavel Kostylev, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University, a religious scholar.

"Unfortunately, we can state that the thesis about 70, 80, 100, 130 (underline as appropriate) millions of Orthodox Christians plays a purely ideological role. In the same way, for example, 20 million Muslims arise, depending on who, when and why mentions Russian religiosity and the confessional composition of Russia, "the expert draws attention to.

The situation is similar with Muslims, of whom, according to the Council of Muftis of Russia, there are more than 20 million in the country: not all of them, for example, observe fasting in the month of Ramadan. But these figures often become an argument in property claims.

"We have, by the way, a secular state, which is designed to protect the interests of both agnostics and atheists, and believers. Therefore, when they ask for land (for a prayer room. - Ed.), let's look What is the size of the registered communities. At the same time, believers often really do not have enough space, "Diskin notes.

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