Sunday, February 3, 2019

Majority of Orthodox Believers in Ukraine Identify with Ukrainian Church, New Poll Shows

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 2 – A new poll conducted by the Sotsis Center, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and the Razumkov center reports that a majority of those Ukrainians who say they are Orthodox identify with the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church rather than with the one controlled by the Moscow Patriarchate.

            According to the survey, 70.7 percent of Ukrainians identify as Orthodox Christians, with 43.9 percent saying they view themselves as part of  the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and only 15.2 percent indicating loyalty to the Moscow Patriarchate church (

            The poll also found that 38.4 percent consider themselves Orthodox but do not affiliate themselves with either. Other findings of interest include that 6.9 percent of Ukrainians say they are Greek Catholics, 1.3 percent Roman Catholics, and one percent Protestants and Evangelicals. Just under ten percent said they were not affiliated with any church.

            That pattern suggests that ever more parishes will transfer to the UOC despite Russian efforts with flying squads moving from place to place to block that.  As of yesterday, “close to 200” parishes in Ukraine had shifted to the national church (

                The tectonic shift this represents was highlighted by Archbishop Yevstraty of Chernihov and Nezhinsk.  He said that Moscow wants to maintain control of the Ukrainian church because only in that way can the Kremlin have any hope of regaining control of all of Ukraine (

            As long as Moscow controls the Ukrainian church, the archbishop declared, it could position itself as “the third Rome;” but without Ukraine it shows itself to be something else, “Moscow as the second Golden Horde.” 

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