One of my favorite theses is that in some areas Russians are so ignorant that they need an urgent crash course — or they just can’t put two and two together. Politics and religion are two of these areas. Judge for yourselves:
According to polls conducted by the Levada Center, already in 2002 57% of Russians considered themselves Orthodox Christians. (I believe the percentage has grown since.) Yet in 2006, only 16% believed in eternal life! Also, back in 2002, only 8% admitted to receiving communion more than once a year, and 68% claimed that religion or faith are either not very, or not at all important to their lives.
On the political front, Putin’s approval ratings have hovered at no less that 70% for a year. Yet asked (in August 2006) if Russia is headed in the right direction, only 32% said yes, while 34% disagreed, and the rest were not sure. Moreover, 61% are not satisfied with the government’s economic policy. Evern more, 53% don’t believe their children or grandchildren will be able to receive a good education, and only a year ago, 75% of Russians did not expect to receive good medical care, and only 28% were positive on the government’s plans to reform the health care system.