Since AD 988, when Russia proclaimed Christianity as a state religion, Russian Orthodox has remained as the most significant religion in Russia. Russian Orthodox has been deeply imbedded in the mind and culture of Russia that it even survived lengthy religious persecution during the Soviet era, which was from 1917 to 1991. Now, most Russians are inactive with religion. Yet, many of them would still celebrate religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas, and decorate their houses with candles and the sign of the cross. It is said, “No single element has done more to shape the national character of Russians, whether at home or abroad, than the Russian Orthodox Church” (MulticulturalCanada).
Population: 142.122 million
Ethnic Groups: Russian (77.7%), Tatar (3.7%), Ukrainian (1.4%), Bashkir (1.1%), Chuvash (1%), Other (10.2%), Unspecified (3.9%)
Languages: Russian (Official) (85.7%), Tatar (3.2%), Chechen (1%), Other (10.1%)
Religions: Russian Orthodox (15% – 20%), Muslim (10% – 15%), other Christian (2%)
CIA: The World Factbook — Last Updated December 27, 2019
Russians in Canada
Russian Population in Canada
The Russian presence in the GTA is alive and diverse. For example, there are Russian Jews in the GTA who actively follow a religious lifestyle of Jews. In local supermarkets of some areas, Russian Muslim females, who are doing grocery shopping with the hijab on their head, can be found. There are also Russian speaking Koreans who go to evangelical churches on Sunday. Though many Russians would identify themselves as Christians, church attendance among Russian people in the GTA is low. For Russians, religious identity and national identity are, in many parts, intertwined. One pastor ministering to Russians in Toronto says, “You need to ask questions and know the person a bit if you really want to see the religious life of your Russian friend.
- Central Intelligence Agency. (2019, December 18). The World Factbook: Russia. Retrieved December 27, 2019, from https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/russia/
- Encyclopedia of the Nations. (n.d.). Russia – Location, size and extent. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Europe/Russia-LOCATION-SIZE-AND-EXTENT.html
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. (2011, December 15). Russian Federation. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from https://www.international.gc.ca/cil-cai/country_insights-apercus_pays/overview-apercu_ru.aspx?lang=eng
- MulticulturalCanada. (n.d.). Community Life and Religion, Russians. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from
- “Russians,” vol. 4 of Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, 4 vols. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998.
- Statistics Canada. (2011, April 7). 2006 Census of Canada: Topic-based tabulations/Ethnic Origin, Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses and Sex for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census – 20% Sample Data. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement