Most Russians support non-intervention of church in state affairs – poll

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

(Interfax – Moscow, May 21, 2013) Most Russians (57%) think that state should not interfere in church affairs and vice versa, poll conducted by the Levada Center showed.

At the same time, 30% respondents said they thought state and church should participate actively in each others’ affairs and 14% failed to answer.

When asked who is to punish people insulting religious relics and believers’ feelings, 42% Russians said that state was to deal with it, 23% offered “to leave it to God himself”, 22% said that church or religious community were responsible and 12% failed to answer.

Respondents were asked to evaluate the punishment to Pussy Riot band members sentenced in August 2012 to two years for their punk prayer in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. Fifty six percent said that the punishment was adequate and 26% said it was excessive. Nine percent respondents said that such performance should not be criminally prosecuted at all and nine percent failed to answer.