Majority of Russians place feelings of believers above freedom of speech and expression – poll

Natalya Mihailova | 13 August 2015
Moscow, August 13, Interfax – Majority of Russians believe disrespect to religious feelings is inacceptable and place them above freedom of expression, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) reports Thursday.

Thus, 67% of Russian residents believe that authors should not insult religious feelings in their works of art. This opinion is shared by representatives of the older generation (77% aged over 60), Orthodox believers (70%) and adherents of other religions (71%), rather than youth (53% aged from 18 to 24) and atheists (57%), the shows the poll held by VTsIOM on April 4-5 among 1600 people in 132 cities and towns in 46 regions, districts and republics of the Russian Federation.

On the contrary, 28% speak about supremacy of the freedom of expression and believe any limits inacceptable for figures of art and culture.

At the same time, 68% of respondents are convinced that all citizens should be guided by principles of political correctness and politeness, rather than the right for the freedom of speech. The contrary opinion is shared by 27% of respondents (39% among people aged from 18 to 24, 37% among people with little education, 37% among atheists).

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