After the onset of Russia's aggression, more than 700 parishes have joined the OCU
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epifaniy said this in an interview with LB.ua, according to Rubryka.
He said that over the past four years, almost 1.5 thousand religious communities joined the OCU.
"If we talk about the number of religious communities that are currently part of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, this is about 8 thousand parishes. After the full-scale invasion, more than 700 parishes joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. That is, in general, taking the last four years of independence of the local OCU, after the Unification Council, about 1.5 thousand religious communities joined our community from the Moscow Patriarchate. Not just religious communities, but full-fledged churches, that is, communities that own churches and property," Epifaniy said.
At the same time, he added that the number of parishes in the occupied territories is about 2.5 thousand. Over time, they will become even fewer.
"If we count parishes in the occupied territories, it is about 2.5 thousand. If you subtract them from the total number, that was not advertised because, in fact, they never had 12 thousand parishes. It may have been registered, but if we remember how religious communities were registered back in the days of Kuchma's presidency, the authorities ordered registering a religious community in almost every locality. I saw how this was done back in the Rivne region – they just submitted data, and the administration registered communities. They existed on paper. Therefore, perhaps, they have even less in quantity than the Orthodox Church of Ukraine currently has. Gradually, the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine will decrease, while the communities that will decide to join the Orthodox Church of Ukraine will enlarge the OCU," the Primate of the OCU stressed.