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The development of inter-confessional situation in Ukraine
Material posted: Publication date: 30-11-2014

The current political situation in Ukraine attracts the eye as a simple layman and statesman. Each stakeholder tries to analyze the changes in the statehood of Ukraine in terms of their own beliefs. To my untutored eye many of the answers to questions can be found and assume the approximate variant of their development on the basis of the analysis and forecasting of the inter-confessional situation in Ukraine.

According to the abs. 2 article 5 of the Law of Ukraine "On freedom of conscience and religious organizations" dated 23.04.1991 №987-XII the Church in Ukraine is separated from the state, and citizens are guaranteed freedom of conscience. The fact of the fixing of this provision at the legislative level increases the chance of religious decay, which is especially dangerous in times of crisis. Having a long history, this law regulates inter-confessional relations in Ukraine from the very inception of its statehood in the 1990s not only all the imperfections of the law, but the lack of a historical retrospective of statehood at all until the 1990s influenced the development of religious movements. And the fact that the modern territory of this state since the beginning of the tenth century was a hotbed of the propagation of Christianity is not conducive to the unification of the religious composition of the population of Ukraine according to the Orthodox sign of the Eastern rite.

According to published data common in public sources can be analyzed religious composition of the population during the period from the beginning of the 2000s to the 2010s, prepared by the Institute of sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. With some skepticism, we can conclude that in the period from 2000 to 2010, the number of Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate has increased by 14%, while there was an increase in the number of followers of the Orthodox of the Kyiv Patriarchate by 16% and to 22% of the population with preferential distribution on the territory of Central Ukraine. The percentage of Greek Catholics remained at the same level and amounted to 10% of the total population of Ukraine. In this case, if the account at the beginning of the 2000s religious denominations such as Protestantism, Catholicism, and "nontraditional" religious confessions was not considered in view of the insignificance of their distribution, at the time the 2010s 1% of the population was Catholic, 1% Protestant and "nontraditional" religious movements.

With the lowest spread had Muslims and Jews, the percentage and number of which did not reach 1%. Notice how the representatives of the State Committee of religion of Ukraine is the growing number of "nontraditional" religious organizations actively took place in the period 2003-2004, such as the Jehovah's witnesses, neuapostolische Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints (Mormons), religious communities of national minorities. Forecasts of the same State Committee of religion of Ukraine were aimed at the population of the state of satisfied religious needs, what was to stop the growth of religious organizations. If this were not taken into account the factor of political instability and separation of the Dnieper river, not only geographically, but also ideologically.

It is especially necessary to emphasize that in the period of political devices, not the needs of the population in the spiritual life increase. The inner sphere is for man the only place for joy, and possibly a source for healing from the "disease state".

At the present stage of interfaith relations of Ukraine for the most part do not depend on the population itself, but from the international situation, "the order from overseas", and also prospects of development of the political conflict. It is especially necessary to emphasize that the political forecasting of the religious situation in Ukraine is better to implement on a geographical basis, in view of the fact that each geographical region is characterized by its specificity.

In the Western Ukraine in case of continuation of further political action and subsequent integration of Ukraine into the European space will be the massive process of the Greek Catholicism on the population, which will lead to the closure of parishes in a given territory. Since the spread of the conflict in the mind not involved in it masses will generate because of opposition to the English world with the aim of self-identification and being associated with the Ukrainian nation. Despite the possible short-term end of the conflict, the process of Greek-Catholicism will find its emergence in 1-2 years, but will reach scale in the medium term.

In both scenarios the potential distribution in this territory other "non-traditional" religious denominations. However, and in that and in other case it will be of inert nature, the real fertile ground is missing. This assumption has as its basis the fact that in these areas the common ukrainophile sentiments, founded on the unity of the Ukrainian nation, and the mass religiosity of the population: according to statistics of the Institute of sociology of NAS of Ukraine 96% of the population are believers and most systematically carry out sacred rites. Special confessional situation in the Transcarpathian region, where the commitment of Hungarians to Protestantism, Calvinist direction, can only strengthen their inner spirit to separatist trends, fueled from abroad. Despite the fact that the West of Ukraine feels the least burdens of political instability, the fact that hostilities and participation of men on this site could trigger the above-mentioned event.

Another option is seen in the Central regions of Ukraine. In this region there is a widespread Orthodoxy of the Ukrainian Patriarchate. For the most radical citizens this religious group has the identity property themselves with the Ukrainian nation, and in any scenario of military conflict, the process of transition from one Orthodox jurisdiction to another has a serious backlog.

In this case the legal provision on separation of Church and state in moments of need do not work and the Church begins to be a tool in public policy. Because, to put it mildly, relations between Moscow and Kiev tense, the Orthodox clergy of Russia have less potential to impact on the Metropolitan of Kiev in holding them productive spiritual work with the population. Despite the fact that the President of Ukraine, is a supporter of the Orthodoxy of the Moscow Patriarchate, this fact can not be considered as limiting in view of the fact that actually the President has no political will: political decisions are "overseas," and government and also parliamentary forces of religious disunity. High risk in this area of religious ferment and propagation of the "sectarian" movements. In view of the fact that the Central regions of Ukraine, in particular Kyiv are characterized according to statistical studies are more atheistic population.

In the years of political instability, the decline of the role of sociality of the state and the role of consumerism on the part of authorities against the population of mass provokes a religious quest, the emergence of non-traditional religious movements. Already periodically in mass media appeared information about the fact that in some areas the spread of a pagan sect and sects clearly "diabolical" behaviour. Further, due to the situation prevailing in the political arena, you can rasshirenie Uniatism. Indeed, the fact of the transfer of the residence of the first Hierarch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from Lviv to Kyiv in 2005 indicates a high potential for the spread of Greco-Catholicism. But in this case, in the long run the religious conflicts of the schism in Orthodoxy (UE) and the Uniate Church, because the population of the center identifies for the most part the Ukrainians with the help of the Orthodox pack.

Several scenarios have inter-confessional situation in the South-East. In the most favourable when implementing a plan the Kremlin's "Novorossiya" with the entry of South-Eastern regions of Ukraine in the composition of the new state formation, there will be a strengthening of Orthodoxy and Pravoslavnaia of the population due to the reconstruction of many destroyed during the clashes of religious temples, significant human losses in the war, where real people will mourn the dead, raising prayers to God, and also for the reason that the Orthodox Church (MP) actively supported the militia of the Luhansk and Donetsk people's Republics, assisting in prayer, supporting the morale of soldiers by reading with songs blessings to military combat, as well as financially, by purchasing for them the necessary weaponry from the funds of the dioceses (even in regions not involved in hostilities (Sumy region) of the UOC (MP) provides financial assistance to the battalions of territorial defense).

In another case, when under the control of Novorossiya will only have two subjects: the DPR and LPR, on the remaining territories of South-Eastern Ukraine in the short term will happen multichannel influx of Protestant, Catholic religious denominations from the territory of Novorossiya, and there will be a proliferation of other unconventional currents. In view of the fact that this area is the most polikonfessional compared to other regions. So it is on the territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, Kharkiv regions common to the Church of Christ, Alma mater of which is of a similar denomination in the USA, having direct contact with it, and some are under the direct control of American pastors. And this religious script has its own historical roots.

In times of tsarist Russia at the invitation for a variety of purposes: the development of science, art, and other public Affairs — people from the West to the Imperial authorities settled them mainly in the territories of Sumy, Luhansk regions, where later became the centers of the given denominations. No small importance is the fact that it is not aggressive but humane policy of the ROC contributed to the fact that far from it residents, in the minds of the people began fermentation. And in the period of systematically repeated in the Ukraine revolutionary action or preparations for them, the degradation was even faster and in different directions, causing religious confusion. It is impossible not to notice that invest in these regions the Catholic, the Protestant missionaries was the order from West to implement the plan of dismemberment of the Russian world. In these regions no doubt will be Ukrainization of the population on two vectors: the displacement of the Russian language and plantings currents of the UOC (KP), as the closest to the ideology of the ROC (MP). While the Moscow Patriarchate in academic circles is referred to as the Imperial structure of Ukraine, which delays the breakup of the Empire and colonies. In the long term in the event possession of the victory of Nazism in Ukraine does not exclude the possibility of the spread of Uniatism as a fundamental way of Ukrainization.

The light of the fact that the establishment of relations with the various religious confessions can play a hand in political instability in Ukraine in the maintenance of the punitive operation in the autumn of the current year the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has conducted the rewarding the Muslims for their contribution to the development of Ukrainian society. In turn awarded promised to exert efforts to preserve the unity of the state, which may increase the number of new Muslims and their participation in hostilities, offsetting the high degree of assimilation over the last couple of years. It is especially important to emphasize that in the bowels of state and Church elites in Ukraine heated by a draft "Unified national Church in Ukraine" with the direct participation of the American bishops, that according to some odious ideologues will promote the comprehensive independence of Ukraine from Russia, but also will accelerate the infusion into the European space.
Thus, in the current political situation of Ukraine there is no single scenario for the development of inter-confessional relations. While major religious battles will take place not in the minds of the population, and in the offices of the state agencies with direct leadership in addressing this issue the Ukrainian "Western" partners.

Y. S. Suvorin

Tags: threat , Ukraina


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