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Prof. Paul Goble writes about Russians leaving the Orthodox Church

The following article is taken from Prof. Paul Goble’s blog, Window on Eurasia.  

Staunton, April 16 – There are now more than 15,000 Protestant congregations in the Russian Federation, according to a Moscow expert, a figure that surpasses the total of Russian Orthodox parishes and reflects in part Russian flight from the latter because of growing anger about the policies of the Moscow Patriarchate and the approach of  many of its priests.

An article in “Novyye izvestiya” reports that a Levada Center poll has found that the number of people identifying as Orthodox has fallen by six percent since 2009, a reflection of the anger of many believers about such Moscow Patriarchal actions as the condemnation of the Pussy Riot demonstration (

As the paper’s Diana Yevdokimova notes, “there are no exact statistics in Russia on the shift of people from Orthodoxy to other Christian confessions,” but there is some indirect data which are suggestive, including the number of congregations either registered by the Justice Ministry or operating without such registration. 

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