A new national study conducted by Reveal Marketing Research analyzed the religious behavior among Romanians who declare themselves Christian-Orthodox and who believe in God. The study was conducted online in June 2021, among 1,018 respondents who say they are Christian Orthodox and believe in God.
From the representative population of Romania that declares itself to be Christian-Orthodox, the following three typologies stand out: practitioners (42%), non-practitioners (24%) and spiritualists (34%).
For most Orthodox Christian Romanians who believe in God, prayer is an important part of their daily lives. Prayer practice is most common among practitioners (68%). Also, 62% of non-practitioners have the habit of praying. The share of spiritualists who say they usually pray (51%) is the lowest of the types of parishioners.
Overall, the practice of prayer is more widespread:
- Among women (about 73% of women compared to 57% of men say it is part of their everyday life).
- Surprisingly, prayer is also widespread among young people (72% of those aged between 18 and 24 and 70% of those aged between 25 and 34).
Orthodox Christian Traditions Observed
The study conducted by Reveal Marketing Research also shows that there are certain practices related to religious dogma that separate believers according to type (practitioner, non-practitioner and spiritual).
Making the sign of the cross when passing in front of a church (58%), observance of holidays by not even working in the household (65%), lighting candles (63%) and participating in services on important holidays (56%) are common habits especially among practitioners and non-practitioners.
− More than half of the Romanians of Christian-Orthodox religion who believe in God, declare that they make the sign of the cross when they pass by a church. For the three types of parishioners in which making the sign of the cross is an important practice – practitioners, non-practitioners and spirituals – the share of people who do this frequently is about the same – over 40%. On socio-demographic criteria, making the sign of the cross is more common in women, the elderly and young people (18-24 years).
− Holidays are frequently observed by over three quarters of Romanians by not doing any type of work and other household chores. Again, the practice is seen to a greater extent among women (73%), the elderly (over 55 years) and young people (35 – 44 years).
− 21% of Romanians say they fast. Fasting is held more by women. Practitioners follow this tradition to the greatest extent (26%), followed by non-practitioners (3%) and spiritualists (2%).
− Having a confessor and regular confession is a common practice among practitioners (10%).
What Are the Main Motivations for Observing Christian Traditions?
Respondents who were raised in religious families stated that the reason they respect Christian traditions is that this is how they were brought up and taught by their families (61%). Another important reason invoked is love for God (58%).
Other secondary motivations refer to the fact that:
- God helps those who observe Christian traditions (49%).
- Fear of God (35%).
- Final judgement (2%).