Tolerance of monotheistic religions and their representatives

The article presents the results of a sociological research on the subject of interreligious tolerance based on a sociological survey among the residents of Moscow.

Key words: monotheistic religions, quantitative domination of adepts, interreligious tolerance.

Active interaction of people within the framework of a religious community means to have some aspect of tolerance to the differential peculiarities of adherents of a different faith. Intolerance of any kind in the field of multi-religion can result in not just violating human rights but in more serious conflicts.

As V.A. Lektorskiy correctly notes «without working out of mutual tolerance colliding civilizations, cultures, nations, social groups, separate people can really wipe out each other. (V.A. Lektorskiy About tolerance, pluralism and criticism )

In that regard the relevance of the issue studied is reduced to the framework of detection of interreligious tolerance and recognizing smaller faiths adepts by adepts of bigger monotheistic religions. It’s very significant to understand the possibility of a conflict by means of dominating the bigger faiths over the smaller ones.

It’s worth noting that there is no single globally accepted definition of the concept.

In search of the answer and while analysing the scientific literature on the given issue clear tendencies to define the concept of interreligious tolerance are seen.

Researchers (abbot Veniamin (Novik), archpriest V. Fedorov and others) follow the definition contained in the «Declaration of  Principles on Tolerance» signed on November 16, 1995 where it’s stated that tolerance implies respect, accepting and correct understanding  of the rich diversity of our world cultures, self-expression forms and ways of human individuality

It is encouraged by knowledge, openness, conversing and freedom of thought, moral sense and beliefs. Tolerance is harmony in diversity. It’s not just a moral duty but a political and legislative need. Tolerance is a virtue enabling to achieve peace and helping to replace the culture of war with the culture of peace. The short philosophical encyclopedia gives the following definirion of tolerance: «… indulgence to different views, characters, habits. Tolerance is necessary in relation to different peoples, nations and religions. It’s the sign of self-confidence when one realizes the solidity of their own position, the sign of the open faith that is not afraid of comparing with the other opinions and doesn’t avoid spiritual competition. (The short philosophical encyclopedia …

The issue under research was touched upon by such scientists as M. Mchedlov, M. Konsha, G.P. Chistiakov. but the field studied by the scietnists mentioned doesn’t focus on interreligious tolerance so it’s not discussed in this article.

The abbot’s Veniamin Novik’s definition stressing wrongfulness of applying tolerance only to indulgence and stating that tolerance is also love to the world diversity expressed in cultures, religions, anthropological types seems to be quite acceptable.  (V. Novik The spiritual sense of tolerance. Religion and Law

D.D. Kudenkova when studying the problems of the tolerance forming in the field of ethno religious relations gives the following definition of religious (confessional) tolerance: «Loyal conduct to   the representatives of different religions or atheists, ability to co-exist without conflicts and to cooperate in different social fields  not affecting the dogmatic basis of the faiths. Religious (confessional) tolerance is an essential prerequisite and condition of the dialogue between the representatives of different religions both on the institutional level and on the level of individual and mass consciousness.

The given definition is the most complete as it expresses not just the relations between different religions but between the representatives of different attitudes towards Belief and Knowledge.

It’s worth noting a many-sided highlighting of the research approaches to the issue mentioned above. In that regard summing up the previous experience we can say that religious tolerance is indulgence of one religious representatives to the other faiths adepts.

Due to that the aim of the given work is focused on detecting the fact of dominating of bigger monotheistic religions over the smaller ones in the way of a quantitative superiority of its adepts.

Methodology and selection of the research

The research was held from February to June 2014 among the inhabitants of Moscow. 4284 people at the age from 18 to 99  took part in the survey with 1926 male and 2358 female respondents.

The statistic processing of the data received was finished in December 2014.

The method of  the sociological survey on the basis of one of the centres for the study of public opinion in Moscow was used in the process of selecting respondents.

Analyses of the statistic results recieved and their discussing

As it is seen from the chart N1 the number of the survey respondents is 4284 people whose average age varies from 18 to 99.

Chart N1. The respondents’ gender


sex / gender



The representatives of the main monotheistic religions like Islam, Judaism, Orthodoxy and other Christian confessions took part in the survey held from February to June 2014.

Atheists and the respondents associating themselves with other faiths also participated in it. (Chart N3)

During the studies one of the questions the respondents were asked was about the necessity of building religious objects in the capital.

It should be noted that among religious institutions such religious organizations as Krishnaite churches and Babtist prayer houses also took part in the survey. (Suppliment N1)

Chart N3. Respondents’ religious affiliation; necessity of building religious institutions (February / June )

Строительство храмов

for                  against        hard to say








From the results of the survey held it is seen how the proportion of the respondents asked is distributed towards the issue of building churches of the main monotheistic religions.

Orthodoxy 3627 (84.66%), Islam 1581 (36.90%), Catholicism 2145 (50.07%), Judaism 1948 (45.47%), Buddhism 1773 )41.39%).

The survey data stated demonstrate the stable religious orientation of the society.

Just one fifth of the respondents asked in the survey and living in Moscow support building Protestant and Vedic prayer houses.

Babtism 907 (21.17%), Krishnaites 979 (21.85%).

According  to the data received the majority of the respondents supporting traditional faiths stands against building Babtist and Krishnoite churches in Moscow.

The aggregate results  from February to June tell us the following:

The aggregate number of respondents standing against building Babtist prayer houses makes 3014 respondents or 70,5% from 4284 respondents participated in the survey.

The aggregate number of respondents standing against building Krishnoite  churches in Moscow makes 2804 respondents or 65,45%.

As the study shows the final results indicate the dominating of the bigger religions what can be also explained by the necessity to firmly defend your own faiths.

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