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In all three countries, the share of the population that identifies with Orthodox Christianity is up significantly since the collapse of the Soviet Union.experienced the same upsurge as Orthodox Christianity.Today, solid majorities of adults across much of the region say they believe in God, and most identify with a religion.Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism are the most prevalent religious affiliations, much as they were more than 100 years ago in the twilight years of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires.Although Catholics overall are more religiously observant than Orthodox Christians in the region, however, the association between religious identity and national identity is stronger in Orthodox-majority countries than in Catholic ones.Across the countries where Orthodox Christians make up a majority, a median of 70% say it is important to be Orthodox to truly share the national identity of their country (e.g., that one must be Russian Orthodox to be “truly Russian,” or Greek Orthodox to be “truly Greek”).
Across all the Orthodox-majority countries surveyed, a median of 56% favor state funding for their national churches.Relatively few Orthodox or Catholic adults in Central and Eastern Europe say they regularly attend worship services, pray often or consider religion central to their lives. Three words, three distinct ways in which people connect (or don’t) to religion: Do they believe in a higher power? Do they feel part of a congregation, spiritual community or religious group?For example, a median of just 10% of Orthodox Christians across the region say they go to church on a weekly basis. Research suggests that many people around the world engage with religion in at least one of these ways, but not necessarily all three.This political divide is seen in responses to two separate survey questions: How religious do you think your country was in the 1970s and 1980s (when all but Greece among the surveyed countries were ruled by communist regimes), and how religious is it today?With few exceptions, in former Soviet republics the more common view is that those countries are more religious now than a few decades ago.