East-West Church  Ministry Report
Vol. 10, No. 1, Winter 2002, Covering the Former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe


Church Strenth in Ukraine

Orthodox and Catholic Church Strength in Ukraine

Orthodox
churches
monasteries
monks
seminaries
seminary students
priests
Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchy
8,490
113
3,396
15
3,657
7,122
Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchy
2,491
17
87*
15
1,649
1,978*
Ukrainian Autocephalous Church
989
2
2
7
279
602*
Old Believers
66
2
4
40
Russian True Orthodox Church
30
28
Other Orthodox Churches
24
23
Orthodox Total
12,090
134
3,489*
37
5,585
9,793*

Catholic
Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholic Church
3,236*
78
1,188
12
1,588
1,976
Roman Catholic Church
772
38
252*
6
444
428*
Catholic Total
4,008*
116
1,440*
18
2,032
2,404*

Protestant Church Strength in Ukraine


Baptist
churches
clergy
All-Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists (ECB)
1,944
2,463
Independent Churches of ECB
80
111
Evangelical Christians
73
100
Council of Churches of ECB
33
46
Other Baptist Churches
22
61
Subtotal
2,152
2,781

Pentecostal
All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Faith Christians
1,087
1,501
Independent Pentecostal Churches
230
288
Union of Free Churches of Evangelical Faith
76
104
Union of the Church of God in Ukraine
20
26
Church of God in Prophesies in Ukraine
17
24
Subtotal
1,430
1,943

Charismatic
Church of the Full Gospel
329
450
Religious Congregations of Charismatic Movement
139
161
Church of the Living God
30
25
Subtotal
498
636

Other Protestants
Seventh-day Adventist
729*
950*
Reformed
107
55
Church of Christ
70
101
Other Smaller Protestant Churches
60
60
Evangelical Lutheran
57
42
New Apostolic
52
73
Presbyterian
28
31
Jewish Christian
17
17
Methodist
10
7
Nazarene
9
11
Other Protestants Subtotal
1,139*
1,347*
Protestant Total
5,219*
6,707*

Source: Viktor Yelens'kii, Oleksandr Stegnii, Andrii Yurash, and Il'ko Kucheriv, "Kruglii stil' Religiinii vibir naselennia Ukraini: za danimi opituvannia gromads'koi dumki' [Round Table Discussion 'Religious Choices of Ukraine's Population: According to the Data from Public Opinions Polls']." Kyiv: Fond "Demokratichni initsiativi," Mott Foundation, 2000.

* Numbers in italics reflect more recent updating in Andrew Yurash, "Inter-Confessional Relations in Ukraine--Permanent or Usual Interaction? Laconic Portraits of the Main Participants of Inter-Religious Opposition," unpublished paper, September 2001.

Commentary
Research on the denominational configuration of Ukraine today varies so much that it raises questions about validity. However, the problem is not researchers' lack of professionalism, but the lack of firm denominational identity among respondents. Actually, this is not a problem for the Eastern Rite Catholic Church because it consistently accounts for six to eight percent of the adult population of Ukraine in surveys. It is more complicated with Protestants because some surveys do not "catch" them at all. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses,** some Pentecostals, and even some Baptists do not respond to the name Protestant. Yet, Protestant denominations that have a fixed membership are easy to count. The All-Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christian-Baptist Church has 130,000 members, the All-Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christians (Pentecostal) has about 90,000 members, the Ukrainian Union of Seventh-day Adventists has about 40,000 members, and Jehovah's Witnesses** have about 107,000 members. The above Protestants, plus members of charismatic and independent churches (excluding Reformed and Lutherans), cannot be more than 600,000 to 700,000. Without question, their influence on religious life is much higher than their numbers would suggest. But the figures shown also undermine the idea of "Protestant expansion" in Ukraine.

** Editor's Note: The East-West Church & Ministry Report does not consider Jehovah's Witnesses, who are non-trinitarian, to be members of a Christian denomination.

How Religious is Ukraine? Results of Survey Research

1. Your attitude to religion. You are . . .

A believer
66
A nonbeliever
23
An atheist
5
Difficult to answer
7

Sixty-six percent of the people questioned consider themselves to be believers, almost a fourth are nonbelievers, and five percent say that they are atheists. This rather high level of declared believers does not correspond with actual participation in religious life.

2. How often are you coming to church services?

Once a week
7
Twice or more often a month
5
Once a month
5
2-11 times a year
23
Once a year
15
Never
10
No answer
35

Calculating the results, we can assume that the number of believers who actually hold to church canons and live correspondingly is not higher than 15-20 percent of Ukraine's adult population today.

3. What is your denomination?

Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate
22
Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate
12
Orthodox, but do not belong to any denomination
26
Eastern Rite Catholic Church
8
Ukrainian Autocephalous Church
1
Roman Catholic Church
1
Other
5
Do not belong to any denomination/ecumenist
25

There is a paradoxical situation in that the number of registered churches of the Moscow Patriarchate is much larger than the number of churches of the Kyiv Patriarchate, yet only 12 percent of the people identify themselves with the Moscow Patriarchate, whereas 22 percent identify with the Kyiv Patriarchate.

Source: Ibid


"Church Strength in Ukraine," East-West Church & Ministry Report 10 (Winter 2002), 3-5.

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2002 East-West Church and Ministry Report
ISSN 1069-5664



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