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Russia's Young Muslims Especially Devout

Kazan's Kul Sharif mosque is a symbol of Islam's renaissance in mostly Muslim Tatarstan. Wikimedia Commons

Young Muslims in Russia place significantly more importance on religion than those aged 35 and older, while the opposite is true in the rest of the world, a study released Thursday said.

Researchers from the Pew Research Center found that Islam played a key role in the lives of 48 percent of Russian Muslims between the ages of 18 and 34, whereas the same was true for 41 percent of those aged 35 and older.

These findings compare with results of 73 percent and 82 percent for the younger and older generations in Tunisia, and 80 percent and 92 percent in the Palestinian territories.

Forty-eight percent of Russian Muslims younger than 35 said they prayed at least once a day, while 41 percent of the older generation said they prayed as frequently. Russia was the only country where the younger generation of Muslims were more devout than their elders, the study's authors stressed.

The report, titled "The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity," also found that Russians with limited education were more religious. Sixty-six percent of those without secondary education said Islam was important to them, as opposed to 41 percent of those with secondary or higher schooling.

The Pew Research Center surveyed more than 1,000 people in 80 Russian regions for the study, interviewing more respondents in areas with a higher concentration of ethnic Muslims. The poll had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

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