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Armenia among most religious and USSR-nostalgic nations

Armenia among most religious and USSR-nostalgic nations

Facts and figures

Nostalgia for the USSR is common among Armenians, and the majority identify themselves as followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey of 18 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to religious identity, beliefs and practices, and national identity, the survey explores respondents’ views on social issues, democracy, the economy, religious and ethnic pluralism, and more.

PanARMENIAN.Net - According to the survey, a median of 86% across the 18 countries surveyed say they believe in God. This includes more than nine-in-ten in Georgia (99%), Armenia (95%), Moldova (95%), Romania (95%) and Bosnia (94%).

In countries such as Armenia, Serbia and Ukraine, many people regard the national patriarchs as the main religious authorities.

Roughly a quarter in Georgia and Armenia say they would be willing to accept Jews as family members. Acceptance of Muslims is even lower in these countries – 16% of Georgian Orthodox Christians say they would be willing to accept a Muslim family member, even though about one-in-ten Georgians (9%) are Muslim, and just 5% of Armenian Orthodox Christians say they would be willing to accept a Muslim in their family.

82% of respondents in Armenia said it is important to be Orthodox (Apostolic Christian) to truly share the national identity of the country. The figure is record high, with Georgia coming in the second with an 81% share. 62% of Armenians think that the national church should receive financial support from the government

Noteworthily, 45% of Armenians pray each day, and only 9% attend church weekly.

In Armenia, 98% of respondents said that humosexual behaviour is morally wrong. The survey goes on to say, however, that younger people are about as likely as their elders to favor legal gay marriage (4% and 3%).

84% of Armenians expressed the view that their culture “is superior to others,” describing themselves as “very proud” of their national identity.

Many Orthodox Christians – and not only Russian Orthodox Christians – express pro-Russia views. 83% of Armenians, for example, expressed support for a strong Russia as a counterweight to the West. In the country, 13% the public take the position that under some circumstances, a nondemocratic government is preferable, 53% say democracy is preferable to any other form of government, while 32% said “for someone like me, it doesn’t matter what kind of government we have.” Also, 79% of Armenians say the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a bad thing for the country.

The Czech Republic is one of the most secular countries in Europe, with nearly three-quarters of adults (72%) describing their religion as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.”

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