National Profiles > Regions > Eastern Europe > Ukraine
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Orthodox

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Orthodox (69.3%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Ukraine Eastern Europe World
Christian (all denominations combined) 85% 62.7% 29.9%
  • Orthodox
  • 69.3% 42.8% 3%
  • Catholic
  • 11.3% 16.3% 15%
  • Pentecostal
  • 2.1% 1.3% 2.8%
  • Protestant
  • 1.6% 1.7% 5.6%
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 0.7% 0.6% 2.3%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 1.1% 5.5% 22.8%
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 1% 5% 19%
  • Shia Muslim
  • 0.1% 0.3% 3.4%
    Jewish 0.1% --- 0.2%
    Other Religionist 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 12.9% 9.7% 12%
    Unknown 0.8% 21% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 233,000 square miles and a population of 46.3 million. The Government estimated that there are 33,000 religious organizations representing 55 denominations in the country.

    According to official government sources, Orthodox Christian organizations make up 52 percent of the country's religious groups. The largest such group is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) (abbreviated as UOC-MP), with significant presence in all regions of the country except for the Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, and Ternopil Oblasts. The UOC-MP refers to itself, and is officially registered as, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The second largest Orthodox group is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), with most followers located in western and some central oblasts. The UOC-KP is not recognized by the UOC-MP. The smallest of the three Orthodox churches is the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), with approximately 70 percent of its adherents in the western part of the country.

    Adherents of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) constitute the country's second largest group, and the largest one in the western part of the country. UGCC members number approximately four million. In the eight western oblasts, the UGCC communities constitute a majority only in the Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Ternopil Oblasts, while members of the three Orthodox churches comprise a majority of believers in the western part of the country overall.

    Some Muslim leaders estimated that there are 2 million Muslims in the country, although estimates by the Government and independent think tanks put the number at 500,000. The majority are Crimean Tatars, numbering an estimated 300,000 and constituting the third-largest ethnic group in Crimea. The Crimean Tatars have their own governing council (Crimean Tatar Mejlis) and language (Crimean Tatar). Crimea's majority ethnic Russian population is predominantly affiliated with the UOC-MP.

    The Roman Catholic Church, with approximately one million adherents, is traditionally associated with historical pockets of citizens of Polish ancestry, who live mainly in the central and western regions.

    Groups that constitute less than 5 percent of the population include followers of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine, Jews, Anglicans, Calvinists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutherans, Methodists, Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Seventh-day Adventists, Buddhists, and adherents of Krishna Consciousness.

    Based on a 2001 census, the State Committee of Statistics estimated that there are 103,600 persons of ethnic Jewish origin in the country. Some Jewish community leaders, however, estimated that 170,000 citizens were born to a Jewish mother and as many as 370,000 are eligible to immigrate to Israel because of their Jewish heritage.

    A 2007 survey by the independent think tank Razumkov Center found that 40 percent of respondents consider themselves believers not belonging to any denomination, while 36.5 percent consider themselves believers of a particular religious organization. Of the latter group, 33 percent affiliate themselves with the UOC-KP, 31 percent with the UOC-MP, 18 percent with the UGCC, and 2.5 percent with the UAOC. Less than 5 percent of those surveyed declare themselves Roman Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, or Jews.

    According to the 2007 survey, of those who considered themselves believers of a particular religious group, 33.5 percent said they attend religious services 1-2 times per year; 23 percent once in several months; 14.4 percent 1-3 times per month; 8.8 percent once per week; 2 percent several times per week; 6.4 percent once in several years; and 9.3 percent almost never. The survey also showed that almost 90 percent of religiously active citizens are Christians, the majority Orthodox, and that religious practice is generally strongest in the wes


    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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