On November 10, 2017 Orthodoxy in Dialogue published Sotiris Mitralexis’ “Questions à Propos Pew Research Center’s Report on Orthodoxy,” in which he critiques the Center’s methodology of combining “Eastern” and “Oriental” Orthodox for its November 8 report, “Orthodox Christianity in the 21st Century.”
Section 4 of the report, entitled “Orthodox Take Socially Conservative Views on Gender Issues, Homosexuality,” contains some nevertheless surprising facts:
- 50% of Orthodox Christians in Greece believe that homosexuality should be socially acceptable.
- 25% of Orthodox Christians in Greece support the legalization of same-sex marriage.
- 62% of Orthodox Christians in the United States believe that homosexuality should be socially acceptable.
- 54% of Orthodox Christians in the United States support the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The results for Romania seem confusing: while it has a much lower rate of acceptance of homosexuality than Greece (10%), it has a slightly higher rate of support for same-sex marriage (27%).
The rates of acceptance are also higher in Serbia and Bulgaria than, for instance, in Russia and Ukraine.
Undoubtedly hierarchs, pastors, theologians, and laity will view the significance of these data differently. Some will see in them a marked decline in the integrity of Orthodox Christianity in Greece and the US, while others will see the Church in these locales as especially poised to engage in further theological explorations of the meaning of sexuality and gender in social and ecclesial life.
You can read section 4 the report in its entirety here.
The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan American fact tank based in Washington, DC. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world.
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Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God,
who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise
by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit.
Through them Thou hast drawn the world into Thy net.
O Lover of man, glory to Thee.