67% of Ukrainians define themselves as believers, but only 10% of them are members of religious communities – study
KYIV. June 2 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Only 10% of Ukrainians, who define themselves as believers, regularly visit religious houses. These are the data of a sociological study conducted by the Active Group social research company and the Expert Club analytical center and presented during a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine.
"Compared to the indicators of 2020, the number of people, who consider themselves rather non-believers, has grown in Ukraine. This figure has increased from 8 to 13% over the year. This may be due to the reverse transition from religious practices to secular ones due to the end of the critical phase of the pandemic in our country," the co-founder of the Expert Club, political scientist Daniel Bogatyrev said.
"Among people who consider themselves believers, 86% identify themselves as Orthodox Christians, 9% are Catholics, 1.2% are Islam believers, 0.7% Protestantism believers, 0.3% pagans, and 0.2% Judaism believers," Head of Active Group Oleksandr Pozniy said, summing up the results of the study.
In addition, Pozniy noted the correlation between adherence to Orthodox Christianity and the age of citizens. The study revealed an increase in the number of Orthodox believers among middle-aged and elder people.
According to Editor-in-Chief of the Ukraine in Arabic news portal Mohammad Farajallah, faith should meet the traditions and life of the nation in which it prevails.
"Ukraine has always been a multinational and poly-confessional state, but Orthodoxy has been and will remain the main religion in Ukraine. As for Islam here, the percentage of Muslims has remained generally unchanged thanks to the indigenous people, primarily the Crimean Tatars... Over the 30 years of independence, the number of immigrants professing Islam in Ukraine has not exceeded 50,000-100,000 people, which is not a significant figure," Farajallah said.
Many people select a particular confession based primarily on political considerations, political scientist and Head of the UP Foundation, Kost Bondarenko, said.
"If one looks at the realities, political engagement does not make it possible to talk about the churching of parishioners of certain confessions. It is one thing to declare the faith, but another thing is churching. This can be observed every year, when at the end of July religious processions are organized in honor of the feast of the Baptism of Rus. At the same time, the processions of the two confessions (UOC and OCU) are different. The number of parishioners of the UOC is usually 200,000-300,000 people who walk with crosses and banners, showing their adherence to Orthodoxy. At the same time, during the processions of the OCU, parishioners mostly go with national flags and portraits of the heroes of the Ukrainian pantheon. This really indicates to two approaches to religiosity in these confessions," Bondarenko said.
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