Almost 300 Moscow Patriarchate churches transfer to Orthodox Church of Ukraine since 2022
Sviatohirsk Lavra (Photo: EPA)

From the beginning of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine and until the end of 2022, 214 religious communities transferred from the subordination of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Currently, there are 8,505 churches of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, according to Opendatabot information.

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The research found that the oblasts with the largest number of churches of the Moscow Patriarchate have not changed since the end of 2022: 683 religious institutions function in Donetsk Oblast, and 613 and 563 in Khmelnytskyi and Vinnytsia, respectively.

From the beginning of 2023, in addition to the 214 already mentioned, another 63 religious communities became affiliated to the OCU, analysts write.

20 churches (almost a third) that have changed their affiliation are located in Kyiv Oblast. Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi oblasts also made it into the top 3 — each with 10 religious institutions that transferred to the OCU since the beginning of the year.

Фото: Opendatabot
Photo: Opendatabot

According to the changes to the law on freedom of conscience and religious organizations, which came into force on the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, religious institutions must reflect their ties to the aggressor state in their name. According to Opendatabot, some religious organizations ignore this rule and try to hide their affiliation to the UOC-MP.

The Ministry of Justice began to inform about this, indicating under the name of the institution in the database of the Unified State Register — "affiliation to the Russian Orthodox Church is not indicated."

Because of this, some religious organizations supposedly correct their names to the past without authorization. All these religious communities are located in the western Ukrainian Chernivtsi Oblast, Opendatabot informs.

On April 5, 2023, the St. George Cathedral of the Moscow Patriarchate in Lviv was transferred to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

On April 6, an illegal temple of the Moscow Patriarchate was dismantled in Lviv.