Ukraine, June 2, 2021
Despite pressure and persecution from state, regional, and local officials and from the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine remains the largest religious confession in Ukraine by far and continues to grow.
Ukrainian media sources regularly feature stories of new churches being built and consecrated, often to replace those seized by the schismatics of Constantinople’s OCU.
In just in the past week, canonical Ukrainian hierarchs consecrated completed churches and the cornerstones of future churches at 9 sites throughout Ukraine, while many other churches are currently under construction, reports pravlife.org.
The report includes several churches being built to replace those seized by schismatics, one to replace a church destroyed by fire in 2015, one built on the site of a cathedral destroyed by the godless authorities in Crimea after the revolution, one chapel built in an Orthodox school, and a church built on the site of the finding of a miraculous copy of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, in addition to other churches simply being built to serve the Ukrainian Church’s growing flock.
And according to the latest report form the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and the Freedom of Conscience, the canonical Ukrainian Church remains the largest religious confession in Ukraine. As of January 1, there were 37,049 registered religious communities of all denominations and faiths throughout the country, one-third of which belong just to the canonical Church.
As of the beginning of this year, the canonical UOC has 12,406 registered religious organizations, while the schismatic OCU has 7,188, of which 457 are inactive. Several hundreds of those were also illegally seized from the canonical Church and re-registered to the schismatics.
The third largest confession is the Uniate Greek Catholic church, with 3,670 communities.
According to the report, the canonical Church also has 215 registered monasteries with 4,681 monastics, while the OCU has 79 monasteries with 233 monastics.