Ukrainian Society, State And Church in War. Church and Religious Situation In Ukraine 2023

February 12, 2024


This publication was implemented with the support from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Office in Ukraine.

The Razumkov Centre permanently monitors the church and religious situation in Ukraine, including sociological monitoring of the state and trends of Ukrainian society’s religiosity, public confidence in the Church as a social institution, as well as the public opinion on the role of religion and the Church in public life, relations between the state and churches, among different churches and confessions.

In 2000 the Centre carried out the first ever large-scale survey in independent Ukraine on the level and features of religiosity of Ukrainians, their idea of the role of religion and the Church in the life of a man, society and the state. Since then, the Centre’s Sociological Service has been conducting regular general and thematic surveys on these issues.

The most recent national-wide survey was conducted by the Razumkov Centre’s Sociological Service in November 2023 and included a poll of Ukrainian citizens with a sample representing the adult population of the government-controlled areas of Ukraine (the poll was not held in temporarily occupied territories or the territories where hostilities were taking place).

In addition to traditional monitoring questions, the latest survey particularly focused on citizens’ perceptions of how the Church responds to the problems and challenges of the day (including its activity in the context of the russian aggression against Ukraine), citizens’ ideas of the role and essence of the social mission of religious organisations, motives for commitment of religious rites.

Comparative analysis of the survey results makes it possible to briefly outline the trends of Ukrainian society’s religiosity over the past 20 years and to draw the following conclusions.

Throughout the entire period of research, Ukrainian society has demonstrated a fairly high level of religiosity.  Study findings show that the level of religiosity continues to depend on gender, age, and place of residence (urban/rural): in particular, religiosity is higher in older age groups vs younger ones, in women vs men, and in rural residents vs city dwellers.

Ukrainians believe that providing social service, helping people and supporting them should be one of the leading or more important activities of the church or religious association.

Notable changes occur in the church self-determination of Orthodox believers, due to changes in the organisational pattern of Orthodoxy in Ukraine and the impact of russia’s full-scale aggression on public consciousness. Compared to 2020, the number of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine faithful has increased significantly.