04/17/2013, 00.00
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Over 70% of Russians would like to see Pope Francis visit Moscow

This was revealed in a study by the Levada Center, according to which more than half of the citizens defines the election of the new Pope a "major event".

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - 71% of Russians would like Pope Francis to come on a visit to their country. This was revealed by a survey conducted by the independent Levada Center, according to which more than half of citizens (56%) sees the election of the new Pope as an important event. The study reveals that 33% of respondents said they were "not impressed" by the news, followed by 35% of the people who instead admitted to having followed the election. 47% said they had heard something, while 18% completely ignored the fact.

According to the poll, 29% of respondents described " relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic as "friendly, while 40% were convinced that they must improve. Only 6% said that relations are already quite close, while for  2% they were even "hostile".  The survey revealed that 38% of Russians expect an improvement of relations between the two sister Churches with the new papacy, while 15% believe that this is unlikely.

The majority of respondents (71%) - interviewed at the end of March from a sample 130 areas of 45 regions of the country - said they would like to see Pope Francis in Russia, while 9% said they were opposed to his visit.

As for the Church's influence on the state, 65% of respondents had expressed concern and 26% were in favor. The majority of citizens are convinced that this influence exists: 48% believe that it is needed, 19% said that it is "more than necessary" and 6% see it as "excessive". 15%, however, believe that the Church's influence on politics is not enough.

43% of respondents  see the role of religion in social life as "important", while 43% said that it does not have the most important place in their lives, for 19% of respondents, however, religion has no place whatsoever. (N.A.)


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