Razumkov Center analyzes religious tendencies for last 10 years
At the roundtable discussion “Church-State Relations in Ukraine: Specificities and Tendencies of Development” held in Kyiv today, Razumkov Center presented the results of its sociological data and analysis for the last decade. Razumkov Center developed an address to the government on the unacceptability of forced solutions to religious problems and noticed deterioration in church-state relations.
The roundtable is attended by representatives of the government and religious organizations, scholars and experts.
According to Director General of Razumkov Center Anatolii Rachko such roundtables have already become tradition as they have been held since 1996. A few years ago, the center developed a concept of church-state relations on the basis of polls, which was approved by representatives of the clergy but not implemented in legislation.
The center presented to the participants of the meeting a collection of information and analytical materials containing an analysis of the statistics of the development of the religious infrastructure and the results of the poll from 2010. The number of newly registered religious communities in the west of Ukraine has decreased from 42 percent to 34 percent in the last ten years. In the east, south and center of Ukraine, however, an increase has been recorded.
The problem of availability of religious buildings for the churches remains urgent. Not a single church in Ukraine is 100 percent provided with religious buildings.
The number of students at the spiritual educational institutions has been decreasing as compared to the number of such institutions.
A separate section of the survey deals with the question of self-identification of Ukrainians. According to Razumkov Center, the number of Ukrainians who call themselves believers has increased from 58 percent to 71 percent in ten years. The number of those who cannot identify themselves has decreased from 23 percent to 12 percent and the number of unbelievers has decreased from 12 percent to 8 percent.
The number of believers has increased substantially largely due to the south of Ukraine: from 49 percent to 76 percent.
As for confession, 68.1 percent of Ukrainians call themselves Orthodox, 7.6 percent call themselves Greek Catholics, 0.4 percent call themselves Roman Catholics, 1.9 percent call themselves Protestants, 0.1 percent call themselves Jews, and 0.9 percent call themselves Muslims. Furthermore, 7.2 percent consider themselves simply Christians and 13.2 percent did not consider to be part of any specific confession or religion but nevertheless considered themselves to be believing people.
Religiousness was listed near the end of the list of life value guidelines. Ukrainians put first health, family relations, and well-being. Religiousness was also put last in the list of educational priorities in the family. Nonetheless, in the last 10 years religious education in the family has increased from 11 percent to 17 percent. As for the regions of Ukraine, in the west religious education is given more significance than in other regions. In the west, religious education was given 5th place as opposed to the 10th or 11th place in other regions.
More than half of the respondents, namely 56 percent, believe that one can be a believer without being part of any particular confession or religion, while 32 percent believe that one must be part of a particular religion.
Of the respondents, 20 percent attend church regularly, which means not less than once a week; 50 percent of the respondents attend church only on religious holidays; and over 20 percent attend church not less than once per month. Most of the people who regularly attend churches live in the west of Ukraine.
Of the respondents, 59 percent recognize the moral authority of the church.
The center conducted the poll in November 2010.