“Cuius regio, eius religio”. Importance of local authorities for the division of Ukraine into two parts.
Analysis of state statistics in the field of religion for 2021-2023
In this article, I analyze official statistics regarding religious communities and church buildings of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) and changes in these statistics over the past two years. A similar analysis was prepared in 2021, before the start of a large-scale war in Ukraine. In that time I wrote two articles, based on the analysis of the statistics of the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience (SSEFC). Their titles were “The Struggle for Recognition: How has the relationship between both leading Orthodox denominations of Ukraine changed since the Tomos of the OCU was granted?” (in Ukrainian – (https://www.academic-initiative.org.ua/2021/06/27/shchodo_statystyky_upts-ptsu/) and “Is the ‘Orthodox Church of Ukraine’ mainly a church of Galicia? Witness of the state statistics” (both in Ukrainian and English – https://www.academic-initiative.org.ua/en/2021/06/27/ocu_mainly_a_church_of_galitia/).
If in 2018-2021 an important factor for the dynamics of change was the granting of the Tomos to the local church of Ukraine, now a large-scale war has become a decisive factor. This time I compared the statistics of 2021 with the statistics of 2023 (for 2022, in seven regions, official statistics from SSEFC was simply absent). From the available data, it is obvious that significant changes took place precisely in 2023, that is, the war itself became a significant factor in changing the situation.
An important aspect for reducing the possibilities of analyzing statistical data was the refusal of SSEFC for 2023 to keep statistics of clergymen – until 2022, this was a significant auxiliary and corrective factor in clarifying the general situation, because a parish without a priest is a certain nonsense for the liturgical life of an orthodox community. In 2022, the number of priests and male monks was 7.933 and 3.821 respectively, in favor of the UOC, and it could not change radically over the last year.