Instytucje religijne i polityka na Ukrainie: zagadnienie tożsamości w czasach wojny (Religious institutions and politics in Ukraine: questioning identity at times of war)

Agata Tatarenko

ORCID: Agata Tatarenko: 0000-0002-8221-1949

Pages: 14-41

Edition: Lublin 2017

DOI: --

Citation method: L. Tatarenko, Instytucje religijne i polityka na Ukrainie: zagadnienie tożsamości w czasach wojny, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 15 (2017), z. 1, s. 13-41.

Abstract: The paper proposes to examine how the political upheavals, occurred in Ukraine after 2014, have impacted the image and the actions of the local religious institutions in the public arena. “National” rhetoric reinforced by the violent conflict in the eastern part of the country has led different religious hierarchies to redefine themselves through the question of relations with the new political power but also towards new attitudes of the civil society. Using statistical sources provided by state agencies and recent sociological surveys, our analysis attempts to highlight and to explain some recent evolutions of the Ukrainian religious map. The problem of the politicization of the confessional structures studied through the project of building a unique local Church, which has been recently put back on the agenda and which let see in detail the competition between the orthodox clergy of the Kyivan and the Moscow Patriarchates, the latter being often accused of connivance with the enemy. In counterpoint, the reflection also offers a sketch of the religious situation of the territories occupied by Russia or pro-Russian forces. Finally, the study shows that, despite the slogans initially stated by the supporters of the Russkij mir, religious divisions did not serve as a basis for the conflict and their mention became secondary in wartime propaganda. Moreover, the war seems to have led to a more distant attitude towards religious structures with a timid but continuous decline in the number of believers, especially in areas close to the fighting.