Study: Estonians Passively Partial to Christianity, Taaraism Considered Most 'Estonian' Faith

An ancient pagan tradition alive: an offering of a rag in a sacred grove Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

According to a survey by the University of Tartu, a fifth of Estonians consider themselves Christian, while Estonian neopaganism is considered the true faith of Estonians by more than half of the respondents.

The survey, conducted by Lea Altnurme and involving 1,100 people, revealed that a fifth of Estonians and half of people from other nationalities considered themselves Christians, reported today.

However, Altnurme said that Christianity has a wider resonance: 55 percent of Estonians and 77 percent of people of other nationalities thought that Christian teaching is the basis for a moral education, and 60 and 75 percent respectively also agreed with the assertion that they like Christianity.

Twenty percent of respondents have been involved with new spiritual practices like yoga, meditation and breathing exercises, whereas 67 percent replied that they believe in improving oneself and one’s surroundings through spiritual practices such as meditation.

The survey also showed that 43 percent believe in the existence of extra-terrestial civilizations, while 22 percent believe that our civilization was brought to the planet by aliens and 16 percent believe that the governments of superpowers are collaborating with aliens but keep it secret.

"These were beliefs that were claimed by significantly more men than women. Ordinarily women are greater adherents to religious beliefs," said Altnurme.

Most respondents had no clear positions in terms of Estonian neopaganism, but 61 percent agreed that it is the true religion of Estonians. Only four percent identified themselves as neopagans.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed that they have a faith that stands apart from churches and religions, and 49 percent said they don’t consider themselves religious but are interested in various religions and spiritual teachings.

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