I came back to Moscow after an eight-year absence expecting to find the country tightly in the hands of the anti-enlightenment. For years we have been hearing about American evangelists in Eastern Europe, feeding like vultures on the minds of helpless, ignorant and superstitious Russians and other peoples, taking every advantage of a supposed "spiritual vacuum" left after the collapse of communism. We have been reading about the increasing influence of the Russian Orthodox church and a spiritual "re-awakening" after decades of godlessness. These descriptions have elements of truth, but my general impression was more one of disinterest in religion by the bulk of the people.
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