Tuesday, November 29, 2022

    Number of OCU followers up by 10% over past year – poll

    The majority of Orthodox Ukrainians (58%) identify as followers of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Their share increased by 10% against June 2020. The number of those with a positive attitude to the head of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy, has also gone up.

    That’s according to the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), the OCU press service reports.

    On July 6, 2021, the KIIS posted the results of the all-Ukrainian public opinion poll “Religious self-identification of the population and attitudes to major Churches in Ukraine: June 2021.” According to the survey, the vast majority of Ukrainians (73%) consider themselves Orthodox.

    Among Orthodox believers, 58% see themselves as followers of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Their share has increased from 48% recorded in June 2020.

    The Orthodox Church of Ukraine and its Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, also enjoy the highest popular rating among Ukrainians among the three largest Churches of Ukraine and their leaders. Some 52% of Ukrainians have a positive attitude to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, regardless of their religious self-identification, 34% retain a neutral attitude, while 9% have a negative attitude. At the same time, the number of those who have a positive attitude has increased from 42% in June 2020 to 52% in June 2021.

    Among the heads of the three largest denominations in Ukraine, most respondents have a positive attitude to His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy: 45% positive, 38% neutral, and 6% negative. At the same time, compared to June 2020, there are more people who are positive – their share increased from 34% in June 2020 to 45% in June 2021.

    In addition, the survey found that most respondents associate OCU with the following features:

    • Flexibility to respond to societal shifts (54% believe that the OCU is more in line with this feature, compared to 14% who believe it isn’t),
    • Promoting public unification (53% vs 13%),
    • Proximity to ordinary people (50% vs 13%),
    • Assistance in fighting COVID-19 (34% vs 6%),
    • Independence from Ukrainian or foreign politicians and oligarchs (33% vs 13%).