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    MAJORITY OF RUSSIANS DO NOT OBSERVE LENT

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    MOSCOW, April 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolai Zherebtsov) - This year, the Orthodox Easter, in line with the 'old style', or the Julian calendar, falls on April 11. It is preceded by Lent. 80% of Russians do not observe it.

    These data were distributed on Tuesday by the Yuri Levada Analytical Center sociological service (former VTsIOM, All-Russian public opinion study center) after an all-Russian poll of 1,600 Russian adults conducted in late March. Statistical error does not exceed 3.4%.

    12% of Russians fast partly, another 4% intend to observe Lent only during the last week before Easter (Passion Week), and 3% of Russians fully observe Lent.

    Strict fasting envisages complete abstention for 40 days from meat, fish, dairy produce, eggs and vegetable oil. It is recommended to abstain from any food on the last day of Lent. Earthly pleasures and entertainment are ruled out. Those who observe Lent partly may sometimes eat fish and dairy produce. The Orthodox Church allows those who are sick, children and travelers not to observe fast.

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