Religious beliefs characteristic for Ukraine
According to the law “About liberty of conscience and religious organizations” dated April 23 1991, Ukrainian religious communities are seen by the state and secular law as presented by religious centers and administrations, registered in accordance with article 14 of the mentioned law, which means that religious community as a centralized organization is not the subject to state registration and is not a legal body.
The most widespread religions in Ukraine are:
- Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
- Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate)
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
- Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
Carpathian reformed church
Islam (mainly among Crimean Tatars)
The majority of believers are Christians. About 33 of 47 million citizens of Ukraine or 77% of the total population name themselves believers. Meanwhile, only 5 mln people regularly go to churches.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is a part of Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine and is the most widespread religious jurisdiction on the whole territory of the country apart from three western regions.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) doesn’t make up a majority in any Ukrainian region. Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church dominates in Galicia area (Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk regions). Today, you can also see a growing influence of actively missioning protestant churches.
After 1991, authorities of independent Ukraine made attempts to “adapt” Orthodox Church in Ukraine to “new realias”.
The main idea was to create an Autocephalous church and move the hierarchy from Moscow into Kiev. The first year after Ukrainian authorities acquired independence it has supported the activity of some Ukrainian Orthodox bishops which led to church split into Ukrainian Orthodox Church preserved under Moscow Patriarchate jurisdiction, and Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate, which declared itself as independent.
Also about 140,000 Ukrainian citizens are Jehovah’s Witnesses. As of today, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate has about 4000 churches, while of Moscow Patriarchate - 11000.