Religion in Ukraine

Religious Beliefs in Ukraine - Overview

According to the Ukrainian law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations”, religious organizations in Ukraine are presented to the state and secular law through their religious centers and offices registered in accordance with this law, which means that religious organizations themselves are not subjects to state registration and are not legal entities.

The geographical distribution of religion in Ukraine is not uniform. About 35% of all religious communities are located in the western regions of Ukraine, 23% - in the central part, 17% - in the southern regions. and only 9% - in the eastern regions. Thus, the population in eastern Ukraine is, on average, the least religious.

According to the survey conducted on request of the International Center for Advanced Studies in 2014-2015, the distribution of religious beliefs in the regions of Ukraine (with the exception of the Lugansk region and Crimea) looks like this:

  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) - 44.2%,
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) - 20.8%,
  • Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church - 11%,
  • Protestants - 2.5%,
  • Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - 2.4%,
  • Roman Catholic Church - 1%,
  • Buddhism - 0.2%,
  • Paganism - 0.2%,
  • Islam - 0.1%,
  • Judaism - 0.1%,
  • Others - 8%.

9.5% of respondents said that they were atheists.

Orthodoxy in Ukraine

Orthodoxy is practiced by the majority of believers in Ukraine, especially in the central, eastern and southern regions of the country.

Until 1686, the Kyiv Metropolitanate was in the jurisdiction of the Church of Constantinople, when due to the annexation of the Left-bank Ukraine to The Tsardom of Russia, it was transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of an independent Ukrainian state, there have been several jurisdictions in the territory of Ukraine that call themselves Orthodox Churches.

Only the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) has the canonical status, but with the participation of the Ukrainian authorities active negotiations are under way to establish a unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine on the basis of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate).

The main Orthodox Churches of Ukraine:

  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) - part of the Russian Orthodox Church, which views Ukraine as part of its canonical territory,
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate),
  • Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,
  • Old Believers.

In connection with the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine, the transition of parishioners of the UOC (MP) to the jurisdiction of the UOC (KP) has increased, both individually and in parishes, and in various regions of Ukraine.

Orthodox churches in Ukraine

St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kyiv

St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral in Kyiv

Author: Enrico Antongiovanni

Annunciation Cathedral in Kharkiv

Annunciation Cathedral in Kharkiv

Author: Ivan Grab

Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Sumy

Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Sumy

Author: Michael Devichensky

Catholicism in Ukraine

The number of Catholics in Ukraine is estimated at about 4-5 million people, about 9% of the population.

The main characteristic feature of Ukrainian Catholicism is the predominance of the Greek Catholics over the Catholics of the Latin rite. Ukraine is the only country in Europe, where the Catholics of the Eastern rite prevail over the Roman Catholics.

Ukrainian Greek Catholics belong to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church - 3.71 million according to Annuario Pontificio (2010) and the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church (Mukachevo Diocese) - 380 thousand people.

The Catholicism of both Western and Eastern rites is more common in the west of Ukraine, although the network of Catholic parishes covers the whole territory of the country. Ukrainian Greek Catholics make up the majority of the population in Galicia (Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk regions) and Transcarpathia.

Protestantism in Ukraine

In 2013, there were 10,613 Protestant churches on the territory of Ukraine - 28.7% of all religious organizations in Ukraine. With time, the number of Protestants grows. In 2009, there were 9,595 Protestant churches, which accounted for 27.8% of all registered religious organizations.

The All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christians-Baptists is the most influential Protestant church in Ukraine. The second, in terms of the number of religious organizations, Protestant association is the All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Christians of the Evangelical Pentecostal Faith. The third is the “Ukrainian Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church”.

The total number of Protestants in Ukraine is about 1,125,000 people. About 820,000 people attend the Protestant services every week.

Other Religions in Ukraine

In Ukraine, there are more than 145,000 people who have recognized themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The overwhelming majority of Muslim religious organizations operate in the south-eastern part of Ukraine, more than 70% of the communities are located on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (the Crimean Tatars).

Judaism is represented by about 300 religious organizations on the territory of Ukraine.

Buddhists make up about 0.1% of the total population of Ukraine, 56 communities. In addition to Tibetan Buddhism, there are also followers of Zen Buddhism.

Photos and pictures

Catholic churches in Ukraine

Dominican (Latin) Cathedral in Lviv

Dominican (Latin) Cathedral in Lviv

Author: Nick Falafivka

Greek Catholic Holy Cross Cathedral in Uzhhorod

Greek Catholic Holy Cross Cathedral in Uzhhorod

Author: S.Shugarov

Dominican Church in Ternopil city

Dominican Church in Ternopil city

Author: Vladimir Zaranok

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