Moscow, June 14, 2017
A third of all clergy, two thirds of all Orthodox parishes, three quarters of all seminary students, and nearly all Orthodox monasticism belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), the only canonical Church in Ukraine, reports the Information-Education Department of the UOC-MP.
The Ministry of Culture’s current report “On the Network of Churches and Religious Organizations in Ukraine” reports that on January 1 2017, a third of the clergy in Ukraine (10,289) belonged to the UOC-MP. However, this number is almost 2,000 low as compared to the statistics available from the Church’s Kiev Diocese. These clergy care for 12,653 religious communities on the territory of Ukraine—a number twice the size of all those communities covered by the report calling themselves “Orthodox” (the schismatic Kiev Patriarchate [UOC-KP], the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church [UAOC], Old Believers, etc.).
Furthermore, according to the public authority, 4,807 monastics labor in 208 monasteries of the UOC-MP—a number twenty times more than the total of all other organizations calling themselves Orthodox. For example, the UOC-KP has 3-4 monks per monastery, and the UAOC only 1-2.
The Church has 4,788 students in 19 seminaries, making up 75% of all Ukrainians studying Orthodox theology and desiring to serve as clergy.
The UOC-MP also has 3,986 Sunday schools, and 135 media outlets, including 93 print, 6 audiovisual, and 36 electronic.
“The official statistics of the Ministry of culture of Ukraine confirm an unquestionable fact—despite the massive oppression of rights and freedoms of believers of the UOC-MP reported by international monitoring organizations, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the largest religious organization with dynamic development and spiritual potential, as the number of believers who have decided to fully devote themselves to serving God in the priesthood and monasticism is ten times higher than the same statistics for other religious organizations,” said Bishop Clement of Irpin, Chairman of the UOC-MP Information-Education Department.
The Ministry of Culture’s data refutes that of some sociological firms that claim that the UOC-MP has lost support in comparison to schismatics and Uniates, when considering that the number of those who have fully dedicated themselves to serving God is the most expressive indicator of the reality of Church life.