Nature and manifestations of Ukrainian religious plurality


  • Anatolii Kolodnyi Religikous Studies Dpt



religious plurality, religious pluralis, polydenominationalism, religious network, Ukraine, religious organizations


The article reveals the nature and manifestations of Ukrainian religious pluralism. Despite the constant interest in the topic - the plurality of religious life in Ukraine, science has not yet clarified the causes and roots of this phenomenon. The author analyzes the historical, psychological, socio-political factors that caused the religious diversity of Ukraine. The presence of many religious traditions within one ethnic and state territory promotes tolerant relations between bearers of different religious beliefs. Ukraine's religious plurality distinguishes Ukrainians from other nations. This gives grounds to consider Ukraine a unique religious phenomenon of the European level (Casanova). Religious plurality is a condition for the establishment of the principles of freedom of religion, freedom of choice.

The author derives worldview plurality and polydenominationalism in Ukraine from the history of the Ukrainian people, looking for their origins in the pre-Christian and later early Christian era. The presence of heresy in Ukraine as a generalized form of coexistence of different worldviews explains the current richness of religious traditions, their syncretization.

The article makes an intermediate conclusion that the history itself, living conditions, national character of the people formed Ukraine denominationally plural.

Based on such a historical foundation, since gaining state independence in 1991, Ukraine has been self-determined in its priorities regarding the country's spiritual / religious development. The Law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine created a legal basis for the equal existence and development of different religions in Ukraine. The plurality of Ukrainian society is enshrined in law.

The basic principles of the plurality of religious life are confirmed by specific digital data that illustrate the richness of religious traditions in Ukraine quantitatively and qualitatively. The author provides statistics on all religions and denominations that exist in Ukraine, giving the number of communities, monasteries, schools, priests, publications and more. Detailed information seeks to form a holistic picture of the religious life of Ukraine.

The analyzed data give grounds to single out the factors that determine the religious plurality of Ukraine.

According to the author, at the beginning of the XXI century the denominational network of Ukraine has largely already formed. The mass emergence of new religious movements is unlikely. Nevertheless, Ukraine has not yet exhausted all the possibilities of religious pluralism. It can grow not only due to the emergence of some exotic, technological, syncretic religions, but also because of intra-confessional division or unity of communities.

In Ukraine, there are structures (public, scientific, state, educational, and interreligious) that cultivate interreligious tolerance, which will ensure a high level of religious freedom. However, religious pluralism in Ukraine is periodically threatened by various circumstances - internal and external, general and local, collective and personal.

In conclusion, religious pluralism is determined as a guarantor of religious freedom, the right of everyone to profess his chosen system of spiritual values.


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