Church loses positions of the moral authority, according to Razumkov Center studies
In Kyiv, on May 24, the Razumkov Center held a conference. The Sociological Service presented a new study of the religious situation in Ukraine, which was carried out on March 3-9, 2017
According to deputy director of the Razumkov Center Mykhailo Mishchenko, “The church, again, is a leader of public trust.” Thus, 63% of the respondents trust the Church, although it is dissonant with the data on the moral authority of the Church. It is considered a moral authority only by 42%, while almost 39% do not agree with this thesis. The attitude to widespread denominations is either positive or indifferent, although a significant proportion (15-20%) showed a negative attitude towards Evangelical and charismatic churches, Islam and Judaism. The number of respondents who believe the level of freedom of conscience decreased in Ukraine has dropped. Only 15% believe that the government treats all churches alike. The social ministry of the Church is being increasingly requested by society.
Interestingly, the Church is seen as moral authority absolute majority in the western Ukrainian regions (68.2%). Alongside, more than half the residents of the East (52.9%) and South (54.4%) of our country do not consider the church a moral authority.
Commenting on the new data, Open Orthodox University Rector George Kovalenko expressed concern about the new figures. “The situation is worrying if the Church loses its moral authority,” said the priest. Also, the figures in the study indicate that the attitude towards the Orthodox is better than the attitude of the Orthodox to other believers. “We cannot worry about the trend of increasing negative attitude towards other religions,” said the priest. He also proposed a means of dealing with the problem. According to Fr Georgy, these are education and dialogue with other faiths. This is what his Open Orthodox University is working on - permanent, frank and sincere dialogue with others. Fr. Kovalenko considers the presence of a large number of people with indifferent attitude to others to be a dangerous syndrome. He believes it more effective to get engaged in active enlightenment than in apologetics and mythology.
In general, 2016 Ukrainians were surveyed. The error margin does not exceed 2.3%. The study was conducted in the annexed Crimea and some occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The full version can be found at the Razumkov Center’s website.