Monday, March 27, 2023

    Ukrainians assess church authority, morality of clergy

    The attitude of Ukrainians to the morality of Ukrainian clergy is quite critical. Only 23% of respondents expressed confidence that “most clergymen are deeply moral and spiritual persons.”

    This is reported by RBC-Ukraine with reference to the poll run by Razumkov Center “War and Church. Church and religious situation in Ukraine 2022.”

    At the same time, 20% of respondents are convinced that “most clergy think primarily about money, not about spirituality,” and 46% believe that “clergy are the same as most of us – with all the virtues and sins.”

    The Church continues to hold one of the first positions in terms of trust among social and political institutions (along with the Armed Forces and volunteer organizations). However, compared to 2010, when the level of public trust in the Church reached its maximum (72.5%), this indicator is currently lower, at 61%.

    The level of recognition of the moral authority of the church is lower than that of public trust in it. The corresponding numbers decreased during 2010-2020 (from 56% to 44.5% in 2020, while the share of those who did not consider the Church a moral authority increased over the same period from 27% to 40%). However, the indicators for 2021 and 2022 turned out to be more optimistic: 48% considered the Church a moral authority in 2021, 49% – in 2022, and 31% and 33% did not, respectively.

    Throughout the entire monitoring period (since 2000), the positive social role of the Church was highly valued by Ukrainian citizens. However, with the outset of hostilities in the East of the country, the share of those who noted the role of the Church as positive (in 2014 it was 52.5%) decreased to 40% in 2020. In 2021, the share of those who indicated the positive role of the Church, increased to 49.5%; in 2022, after the start of full-scale Russian aggression, an even greater increase was recorded – to 59%, which is one of the highest indicators since 2000.