Tolstoy, A Confession, pp. 2-3:
Now, just as then, it is impossible to judge from a person’s life, or behaviour, whether or not he is a believer….Nowadays, as before, the public declaration and confession of Orthodoxy is usually encountered among dull-witted, cruel and immoral people who tend to consider themselves very important. Whereas intelligence, honesty, straight-forwardness, good-naturedness and morality are qualities usually found among people who claim to be non-believers. The Catechism is taught in schools and the pupils are sent to church; officials must be able to produce evidence of having received communion. But a person belonging to our circle, who is no longer at school and has not entered into public service, can still live for ten years or more without once remembering that he is living among Christians and is himself considered to be a practising member of the Orthodox Church. This was even more true in the past.
Thus today, as in earlier times, religious teaching, which is accepted on trust and sustained by external pressure, gradually weakens under the influence of knowledge and experience of life that stands in opposition to the religious doctrines; a person can go on living for a long time imagining that the body of religious instruction imparted to him when he was a child is still there, whereas it has in fact disappeared without leaving a trace.