Universal Patriarch Bartholomew signing the tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on January 5, 2019. Metropolitan Epiphanius of Ukraine stands behind on the right. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Now, a poll of 5,000 Ukrainians by the Ukrainian Institute of the Future and the New Image Marketing Group provides a more accurate measure of the real size of the two churches in Ukraine.
The survey found that 72 percent of Ukrainians identify as Orthodox Christians. Of these, 39 percent say they are parishioners of the autocephalous Ukrainian church, more than twice the 16 percent who say they are members of the Russian church which is subordinate to the Moscow patriarchate.
But at the same time, 43 percent said they were not members of any parish and therefore were not one on side or the other as this survey was intended to determine. Those attached to the Ukrainian church rather than the Russian one were a majority in all age groups. This dominance was greater in the West than in the East.
Significantly, the region where those not attached to either the Ukrainian or the Russian church was the Donbas, where 59 percent said they were independent. The region where this figure was the smallest was in the West, where only 23 percent said they weren’t attached to one church or the other.
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