Donskoy Monastery statue
© Vladimir Vyatkin. / Sputnik
A statuary gravestone located at the cemetery of the Donskoy Monastery, Moscow, Russia.
The number of Russians believing in the afterlife has significantly increased in recent years, according to a fresh opinion poll. Now, four in 10 Russians hold the view that life does not end with death.

The percentage of Russians believing in the hereafter has grown by almost 10 percent over nine years, a survey conducted by independent pollster the Levada Center has shown. In 2008, only about a third of respondents supported this belief, while in late 2017 the figure was 42 percent.

Russians are also increasingly developing the conviction that their deceased relatives are able to influence the lives of the living. According to the Levada Center, the number of people believing in the hidden influence of their deceased kin on their lives has risen by 10 percent since 2008, growing from 28 to 38 percent.

The survey showed that religious people are generally more inclined to believe in the afterlife. However, even nonbelievers appear to be inclined to such feelings. According to Levada, 10 percent of those who define themselves as atheists or say they do not follow any religion also believe in the existence of heaven and hell as well as in religious miracles.

Russians' attitudes to other forms of the supernatural remained largely unchanged, the pollster said. Still, superstitious beliefs seem to be fairly common among Russians. Some 45 percent of respondents that took part in the survey said they believe that lucky charms indeed bring luck, at least sometimes. More than half also believe that fortune tellers have the ability to predict the future and that spiritual healers can help them resolve their health problems.

However, significantly fewer people seem to be ready to test their beliefs in practice. According to the poll, only 10 percent of respondents have resorted to the services of spiritual healers while 14 percent have appealed to fortune tellers or astrologists.

The poll was conducted by the Levada Center in mid-December and involved 1,600 people from 48 Russian regions. Similar surveys were conducted by the pollster in 2008 and 1998.