East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 4, No. 3, Summer 1996, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe

High Public Confidence in the Church

David G. Gibson
Respondents Expressing Some or Great Confidence in Church/State Institutions (in percentages)

Church Presidency Parliament Judiciary Military
Russia  72  27  26  38  66
Ukraine  69  47  29  32  61
Belarus  67  50  27  38  59
Estonia  64  72  51  47  50
Latvia  68  69  38  48  32 
Lithuania  80  34  27  29  38 
Poland  70  43  55  61  85 
Czech Rep.  30  78  43  44  43 
Slovakia  59  58  49  53  64 
Hungary  57  74  57  71  75 
Romania  88  52  29  51  85 
Bulgaria  39  48  30  28  67 
Sources:  OMRI AOR surveys March-April 1995; RFE/RL MCR survey in Hungary, April 1994
Nationwide surveys conducted by Open Media Research Institute's Audience and Opinion Research Department throughout Central and Eastern Europe in 1994-95 found a pattern of wider public confidence in the church than in any other institution except the military.  The question read, "How much confidence do you have in [institution]: a great deal, some, not very much, or none at all."  High confidence in both the church and the military is most noticeable in the three Slavic nations of the former Soviet Union--Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus--and in Romania and Poland.  Lithuania was alone in expressing great confidence in the church but relatively little in any state or military institution.  Czechs, however, exhibited less confidence in the church than in any other institution.

In most of the surveys, more women than men expressed some or great confidence in the church, and confidence was more widespread in rural areas than in towns and cities.  Older people, the least educated, and lower-income groups in most countries surveyed had greater confidence in the church than did the young, the wealthier, and the best educated.
David G. Gibson is manager of quantitative research in the Audience and Opinion Research Department, Open Media Research Institute (OMRI).  This material is reprinted from Transition 2 (5 April 1996): 29, with permission of OMRI, a nonprofit organization with research offices in Prague, Czech Republic.  For more information about OMRI, please write to info@omri.cz.

David G. Gibson, "High Public Confidence in the Church," East-West Church & Ministry Report, 4 (Summer 1996), 9.

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1996 Institute for East-West Christian Studies
ISSN 1069-5664

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