One more question about Ukraine is religion. Many foreigners think that religion in Ukraine is Orthodoxy. Actually religious life in Ukraine is rather versatile. The information confirming this fact is provided below.
According to the Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine every person has a right to freedom of world-view and religion. This right includes freedom to practice any religion in Ukraine or not to practice any, freely personally or collectively conduct religious worship and religious exercises, live religious life.
Actually, most believers in Ukraine are Christians. Ukraine is the first Eastern-Slavic state in which territory Christianity was preached. There is true data about St. Andrew the Apostle, who preached Christianity already in the 1st century in the Crimea. In the 10th century Christianity was a branched system of religious doctrine and it found favorable public, state and ethnic basis as religion in Ukraine.
The most powerful churches in Ukraine are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate. They possess the most of parishes, religious organizations and educational institutions. The amount of supporters of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is not as large. Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Ukrainian Roman Catholic Church have big influence in the western parts of Ukraine. Armenian Gregorian Church unites Armenians living in Ukraine. Religious life in Ukraine also includes the representatives of Protestant Christian confessions: Baptists, Lutherans, Adventists, Calvinists and others.
The third large in Europe and the fifth large in world Judaist religious community lives in Ukraine. Most part of the Ukrainian Jews is the Jewish people living in the large cities: Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov і Odessa.
Islam, one of the three global religions, has a few millions supporters in Ukraine. Muslims live mostly in the Crimea (Crimean Tatars) and in the large Ukrainian cities. Muslim communities with versatile national ethnic composition act in every region of Ukraine.
The supporters of some non-traditional religions for Eastern Europe also have their organizations: Buddhists, Krishnaites, the heathens. In general the picture of the religious life in Ukraine looks rather mixed. However, the supporters of the different religions and confessions get along peacefully. This is true even for those which conflict with each other in other countries, like Muslims and the Jews in the Middle East, or Catholics and Protestants in the Northern Ireland. Tolerance and peaceable nature of the Ukrainian people, their liberal attitude towards religion and libertinism were always the symbol of peace between confessions in Ukraine. The temples of different religions in Ukraine, in large Ukrainian cities and small towns, - churches, Polish Roman Catholic churches, mosques, synagogues – are always open for their supporters from any corner of the world.
Spiritual wealth and variety of the religious life in Ukraine are represented in many religious monuments and sacred places. The guests of our country can visit the oldest in the Orthodox world, stone Church of the Tithes in Kiev and old wooden temples of the Transcarpathian region, and sacred for Jews place – the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman. History is interspersed with modern time. Not long ago the first in the region mosque was opened in Donetsk, a copy of the medieval Istanbul temple Ibn Fadlan. The religious life in Ukraine bears sometimes strange, material and spiritual fruits!
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