Ukrainians Did Not Sell Out the Orthodox Creed; It is Dominant in Ukraine

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A high 72 percent of the Ukrainians are declared Orthodox Christians, 54 percent support the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 14 percent identify themselves as Orthodox Christians without specifying the church they belong to, and percent are linked to the Moscow PatriarchateTherefore, Orthodox Christianity is quite dominant in Ukraine, making this Facebook post – that the Ukrainians sold out their Orthodox religion – not true and senseless


A post on the social network Facebook claims that the Ukrainians have sold out their Orthodox creed and that the same awaits us all after the elections. The claim is, above all else, untrue, and secondly, it makes no sense. 

The post also shares a video released on Telegram showing a religious person praying for rain. The photo has the following text: 

Ukrainians sold out their Orthodox creed officially today. 

Can you hear me, Soros-followers from VMRO, SDS, Levica, what awaits you after the elections with Bartholomew and your saint Partenij, greetings from Palcho. 

Ukrainians have not sold out their Orthodox creed. This claim is simply not true. Ukrainians are Orthodox and the Ukrainian Church is Orthodox and that has not changed not now, nor ever. 

While there is no official state religion in Ukraine, Eastern Orthodoxy has long been the dominant religious institution. A formal separation between the state and church provides Ukrainians with a high level of religious freedom. However, in practice, the Eastern Orthodox tradition has had considerable influence over Ukrainian politics, society, education, law, and family values. The cultural influence of Eastern Orthodoxy is present in public architecture, as well as private spaces. 

The survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) in 2022 showed that Christianity was the predominant religion in Ukraine, with 85 percent of the population identifying as Christians. High 72 percent of the population avowed fidelity to the Eastern Orthodox Church whereas 54 percent of the Ukrainians proclaimed adherence to the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, 14 percent identified as Orthodox Christians without specifying church affiliation, and 4 percent associated with the Moscow Patriarchate. Another 9 percent of Ukrainians professed devotion to the Catholic Church in Ukraine: 8 percent Ukrainian Greek Catholics and 1 percent Latin Catholics. Two percent of the population declared affiliation to a mainstream Protestant Church, and a further 2 percent identified with some alternative sect of Christianity (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses). 

Therefore, the Orthodox religion is quite dominant in Ukraine, making the Facebook post claiming that Ukrainians sold out their religion not true and senseless. 

What happened in Ukraine to cause such false posts on social networks with predominantly Russian propaganda narratives, was the adoption of a law by the Ukrainian Parliament that could ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Ukraine has two Orthodox churches – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The law, if and when it is fully passed, will affect the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is connected with Russia. Last October, the law acquired the necessary support from the Members of Parliament for the first reading. Before going into effect, it will go through the second reading procedure and be approved by the President. The law will ban the activities of all religious organizations related to military propaganda or those that justify the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

The law is being adopted because the Centre for Strategic Communications under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine detected that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate was spreading Russian propaganda, covering activities of hostile services and recruiting Russian agents. 

Previously, the Ukrainian Security Service informed that it had initiated 68 criminal procedures against OOK representatives since the beginning of the war, for accusations such as treason, collaboration, aiding and encouraging country-aggressor, public excitement of religious hostilities, sales of firearms, and dissemination of child pornography. Ukrainian citizenship was revoked from 19 representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who had Russian passports and disseminated pro-Kremlin propaganda about the war. On top of that, Russian Patriarch Kirill openly supports the military invasion of Russia in Ukraine. 

Although the situation is complicated and the church issue is mixed up with both politics and war, one cannot claim that the Ukrainians have sold out their Orthodox creed. Orthodoxy has deep roots in Ukrainian history and the majority of the population is Orthodox. Religion, including Orthodox Christianity, is not a commodity that can be sold. It is a deeply rooted belief system that is personal, and private, and no one can “sell” it. 

The narrative that Ukrainians are “selling out” their religion stems from the geopolitical tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Such claims are frequently promoted to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and strengthen Russian influence in the region. It is important to recognize these narratives as part of broader disinformation campaigns directed toward the manipulation of public opinion. 

Hence, we assess this post as untrue.