Geopolitical Vector of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in the Context of National Security
Ukraine is one of the largest European countries. The country is officially secular but the religiosity level of citizens in the Ukraine is one of the highest in Europe. Ukraine is also multi-Christian (several different Orthodox Churches, Protestant denominations). Within its borders there are also Muslims, Jews and new religious movements. Long-term monitoring by the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU) suggests that Ukrainian Orthodox Church has the highest level of trust of any church within the population.
Orthodoxy, the major religious tradition in the Ukraine, is split into several competing Orthodox Churches since the 1990s whilst there is no local autocephalous Orthodox Church, that is, one which has canonical communication with and is recognised by other “autonomous” Orthodox churches within the international Orthodox Ecumenical Council. We will use the term “Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church” or ULOC to refer to this idea of an autocephalous Orthodox Church in the Ukraine. But the term “local church” does not automatically imply “national church”. A local church is an autonomous (autocephalous) church within the independent state. This church is an administrative unit that is completely independent from other Orthodox Churches but united with them only in canonical communion. Moreover, the Ukrainian society does not say that there is a need for a national Orthodox Church.
KeywordsUkraine Russia Orthodox Church Autonomy and conflict
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