In recent years the number of Russians who consider themselves religious believers and the number of Russians who consider themselves Orthodox has increased. According to a recent survey by the Public Opinion fund , this year 69% of respondents said that they profess a religion. Moreover, 59% of those questioned identified themselves as Orthodox, 8% Muslim and 2% other religions. 30% of those questioned did not consider themselves religious. In 1997 the same index had 62% professing a religion and 38% not professing a religion.
In addition, the survey showed that 65% of Russians consider Easter a 'special holiday.' 83% of those questioned said they plan to celebrate Easter somehow or other. However, only 16% of those questions intended on celebrating the holiday in church. At the same time, 42% of respondents said they planned to celebrate Easter with their family around the table, 36% planned to consecrate Easter cake and eggs, and 32% planned to visit a cemetery. Lent was observed by 9% of Russians this year compared to 6% in 2000 and 8% in 2002.
1500 respondents participated in the surveys which were held across Russia on August 9, 1997 and April 19, 2003.