The Most Important Facts About Religion in Ukraine

Dear friends,

I know I have not written about the culture of Ukraine for a long time. Please excuse me! 🙂 I just have so many writing ideas about online dating and Ukrainian women that I often forget that you also want to know more about the mysterious culture of Ukraine (If you want to know something about what I have not written on my Ukrainian dating blog, please feel free to contact me 🙂 ).

Today, I want to tell you about religion in Ukraine.
Here are the most important and interesting facts about religion in Ukraine you should know (as for me :))

Religion in the Ukraine is dominated by a variety of Christian Orthodox traditions. It is most closely related to the Russian Orthodox tradition, but the largest division has broken away from Moscow’s rule. This is as much for nationalistic reasons as for religious ones. The Ukraine was once dominated by Russian Soviet rule, and its religious groups reflect this. Religious diversity was actively discouraged, and religious affiliation was often seen as anti-Soviet. In 1990, this began to change and Ukrainians have enjoyed greater religious freedom.

About 19 percent of Ukrainians, the largest group, consider themselves members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, which answers to its mother church in Kiev. They make up forty percent of all church-goers. Their split with Moscow was the result of their support of Ukrainian nationhood. The head of the church, Patriarch Filaret is a Ukrainian. He was once a Russian Orthodox bishop but was excommunicated due to his support for the self-rule of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

religion in ukraine

A smaller denomination known as the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church claims ten percent or less of Ukrainian church-goers. It is an even more fiercely independent body than that of the Kiev Patriachate. In 2008, they secured the Church of St. Andrew the First-Called in Kiev from government ownership. The head of the church is known as the Metropolitan. The current leader is Metropolitan Mefodiy.

About 16 percent of Ukrainians attend the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (PM) which still recognizes Russian Orthodoxy. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and therefore the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (PM), is Kirill I, known as Patriarch of Moscow and all the Rus. Like the Catholic Pope, the position is elected by the church’s archbishops.

Culture in Ukraine

Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics, who both recognize the supremacy of the Catholic Pope, make up about four percent of the population. Protestants make up two percent of the church-goers. Each of these denominations is still very small, with the largest, the Baptists, representing less than .2 percent of the population.

Jewish persons once formed more than 25 percent of the population in Odessa and Kiev. Sadly, due to Soviet actions during and after World War II, they were shipped to Siberia or worse. They now make up less than 2 percent of the population.

Finally, Muslims make up less than two percent of the population. Their largest single group is the Crimean Tartars.

Questions? Feel free to ask Krystyna, your Ukrainian dating expert 🙂 (s. here: Contact Krystyna)



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