Christianity Increasing in Russia
Christianity is Russia is increasing. Between 1991 and 2008, Russians who self-identified as Orthodox Christians rose from 31 to 72 percent, according to a study conducted by the International Social Survey Programme.
Russians that did not identify with any religion during the same time period decreased from 61 to 18 percent.
Religious beliefs among Russians also increased between 1991-2008. The percentage of Russians that believe in God rose from 38 to 56 percent; and, those that describe themselves as at least somewhat religious increased from 11 to 54 percent during the same time period.
The study also revealed that identification with Orthodox Christianity from 1991 to 2008 rose without regard to gender, age, or education. In contrast to American Christians, younger Russians (16-49 years old) who self-identified as Orthodox Christians increased at a higher percentage from 1991-2008 than those 50 or over. Further, Russians that have a college degree self-identified as Orthodox Christians increased at a higher percentage from 1991-2008 than those with less education.
What can be ascertained by this data? One observation is that Russians are generally open to the Gospel. As a former church planter in Russia, it is heartwarming to know that the percentage of Russians that believe in God is increasing. Now is the time to focus on mission opportunities in Russia.
What other observations can you make from this study?