Sunday, June 2, 2024

Since 2022, Ukrainians have Formed More than 3,000 New Religious Congregations

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 29 – Just as there are few atheists in foxholes, so too ever more people in countries at war display an interest in religion. Ukraine is a classic example: There, the number of religious organizations has risen to 36,195, a figure more than 3,000 greater than the number in February 2020.

            That figure from the Ukrainian government’s State Service on Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience ( and is discussed in detail by journalist Novaya gazeta journalist Lera Furman at

            Over the same period, approximately 1,000 of the parishes that had belonged to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate have shifted to the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine; but despite that, the Moscow church still has more religious organizations than the Kyiv on, 29 percent compared to 22 percent.

             But these statistics are somewhat deceptive. According to a survey taken at the end of 2023, only 5.6 percent of Ukrainians identify with the Moscow Orthodox church, while 42.2 percent say they are part of the OCU, and another 11 percent say they are followers of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (

            The greatest growth in the number of religious organizations has been among Protestant groups; but perhaps the biggest takeaway from this report is that today there are almost certainly more Orthodox churches in particular and religious organizations in general in Ukraine than in the much-larger Russian Federation.

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