44,854,065 (July 2012 est.)
GDP PER CAPITA
$7,300 (2011 est.)
Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%, Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Jewish 0.6%, other 3.2% (2006 est.)
The roots of contemporary Ukraine’s religious heritage can be traced to the introduction of Orthodox Christianity to the region from Byzantium in the 10th century. This remained the most popular religion even though Muslim and Catholic rulers governed the territory for much of the period from the 13th to 18th centuries. Most of Ukraine came under the control of the Russian Empire in the 1700s, reaffirming the Orthodox tradition. However, Ukraine also contained a multitude of religious and ethnic minorities, including Muslim Tatars, Polish Catholics, and Jews. The Second World War (1939-45) and Soviet rule (1945-91) irrevocably changed the Ukrainian religious landscape, leaving the country overwhelmingly Orthodox. The constitution guarantees religious freedom, though social tensions exist. Following independence in 1991, the Orthodox community experienced a schism between those who wished to establish an autonomous Kiev Patriarchate and those who remained loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate. This religious split has a secular equivalent in the current division between Europe- and Russia-leaning populations in Ukraine’s West and East.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) is the product of a 1992 schism in the Ukraine’s Orthodox community. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the achievement of Ukrainian independence in 1991, Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Filaret attempted to secure autocephalous status for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This move was rejected by the Moscow Patriarchate, leading Filaret and a minority of bishops to unilaterally establish a separate communion. Although it lacks...
The Spiritual administration of Muslims in Ukraine, headed by Sheikh Ahmad Tamim, is the central state-sponsored organization for the representation of Muslims within Ukraine. Founded in 1992, the administration's chief responsibility is to “spread the true knowledge of Islam, strengthening the ties between the Muslim communities of different nationalities and opposition to extremist ideological trends, pretending to be Islamic.” In general, the group acts as both the primary representative...
Currently the largest church in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is made up of bishops and believers who refused to join Patriarch Filiaret's attempt at establishing an autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 1992, and have remained loyal to religious authorities in Moscow. They remain the only Ukrainian Orthodox Church to be recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the broader Orthodox world. Headed by Primate Volodymyr (Viktor Sabodan), the...
Organized in 1990, the current Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church represents the third attempt to establish such a church since 1920. The church was first created during the 1920s, then re-created during 1940s, and revived in the 1990s in order to establish a church independent of Russian control during a period of rising Ukrainian national. Initially lead from abroad by Patriarch Mstyslav (Skrypnyk), the church was then led by Patriarch Volodomyr (Romaniuk) who then split from the...