Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Almost half of Russians are convinced that the Orthodox Church in need of protection, after the Pussy Riot event, incidents of desecration of icons and media scandals that have targeted Patriarch Kirill. This was revealed by a survey carried out by the Vtsiom center, in late April in 46 regions and republics of the Russian Federation. As reported by the Interfax news agency, 46% of respondents believed that the Russian Orthodox Church is under attack. The research shows that most respondents (52%) were Orthodox Christians and the elderly (56%). 37% of respondents believe that the Church does not need this protection, 58% of them are declared themselves non-believer.
The survey also shows that 53% of Russians approved of Kirill's initiative to convene, in late April, a day in defence of the faith: a prayer rally in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow that brought together thousands of the faithful . Only 9% are opposed to such initiatives (among them 18% are Muslims and 15% non-believers), while another 28% said they were indifferent. (N.A.)