When it comes to Kirill, Russian Polls Continue to Surprise

In what could only be the most sarcastically or inappropriately titled Interfax-Religion article in recent history, a national poll in Russia reveals precisely how well known Patriarch Kirill (Gundayev) is among everyday Russians.

That is, if they know who he is.

The article, oddly titled “Most Russians see Patriarch Kirill as national spiritual leader – poll” in fact begins by noting that just 62% of Russians know the Patriarch’s name. Of those who know his name, 72% are either retirement age or entering retirement age.

The majority of the more than a third of those surveyed (35%, which makes us wonder where the other 3% went) did not know the Patriarch’s name. Of those, more than half were young people (52%).

While 45% of Russians see Patriarch Kirill as the nation’s spiritual leader, 46% see him only as either the head of a religious confession (37%) or simply a state leader (9%). The article notes that “The Russian Patriarch is mostly viewed as leader of a religious confession by men (40%), citizens with a higher education (41%) and residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg (49%).”