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Cities in UKRAINE



The main church is the Orthodox Church, which has been the prevailing religion in Ukraine since 988. In that year, Prince Volodimir the Great adopted the Orthodox faith. During Soviet rule, Ukraine was a church province of the Russian Orthodox Church; in 1989, the Russian church province was renamed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but under the Moscow Patriarchate. The then metropolitan (archbishop) of Kyiv subsequently founded his own Ukrainian Orthodox Church-patriarchate of Kyiv. A fierce power struggle still rages between these two factions, not least because there are still very many Russians living in eastern Ukraine who have remained followers of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Western Ukrainian Unified Church belonged to the Roman Catholic Church until 1946, but in that year, by order of the Soviet Russian authorities, it changed to the Orthodox Church.

In addition, a Rome-united Church remained, the semi-Orthodox Greek Catholic Church, which has 5.4 million members, 4 million of them in Ukraine. Outside of Ukraine, this Church has about one million members, mainly in North and South America and in Western Europe. They recognize the teachings and authority of the Pope, but explicitly according to the Orthodox liturgy. In 1991, Pope John Paul II visited Ukraine.

Jews are a minority in Ukraine with 500,000 members, but they are still very active culturally and religiously.

Islam has been part of religious life in Ukraine for centuries. Most Muslims are Crimean Tatars, who were deported to Central Asia by dictator Stalin in 1944. Since the late 1980s, they returned from exile to Crimea, where they regularly clash with Ukrainian and Russian Christians.

Since 1996, freedom of religion has been enshrined in the constitution, after which Protestant Lutherans and Anabaptists became active, and after the fall of communism also Baptists, evangelical movements and Mormons. The Roman Catholic Church is especially active among the Polish minority in the western and central parts of the country.

Even non-Christian groups such as Buddhists and Hare Krishna are prevalent in this Eastern European country.

Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Evangelical churches in Ukraine have recently begun to work together in a "Council of Representatives of Christian Churches. The purpose of the council is to promote dialogue among the participating churches and to spread Christian values in society. Furthermore, the churches want to stand up to the government for the rights of the churches.


Bassis, V. / Ukraine
Marshall Cavendish

Corona, L. / Ukraine
Lucent Books

Hove, P. ten / Schets van Oekraïne
Stichting Platform Samenwerking Nederland-Oekraïne

Minbuza Stichting Platform Samenwerking Nederland-Oekraïne

Otfinoski, S. / Ukraine
Facts on File

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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