The Orthodox Church of Ukraine now has more than 8,000 religious communities, - Metropolitan Epifaniy
The head of the OCU said this in an interview with NV.
According to him, new religious communities are constantly joining the OCU, and four years after receiving the Tomos, this church already has more than 8 thousand parishes, a fifth of which passed from the UOC-MP.
"Now the OCU has more than 8,000 religious communities, and new ones are constantly being joined, not on paper, but in real parishes, where there is a community, an active church and divine services are performed. If we talk about the Moscow Patriarchate, in the four years after we received the Tomos, they lost more than one and a half thousand parishes. About 1,700 parishes left them,” Metropolitan Epifaniy said.
The Primate of the OCU noted that the UOC-MP declares to have just over 11,000 parishes. However, some of them, located in the temporarily occupied Crimea and in the part of Donbas captured by the Russian Federation, became subordinate directly to the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Patriarch Gundyaev. Thus, in reality, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has already surpassed the UOC (MP) in terms of support.
"Considering the number of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church located in the territory of unoccupied Ukraine, we, the OCU, already outnumber the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine. However, according to sociological surveys, the Ukrainian Church is supported by more than 50% of the society, and the Russian Church by 2-4%. In some cases, people do not have physical access to the OCU churches and continue to attend the Moscow Patriarchate church, but this is a temporary thing. We are working to ensure that all believers have access to our Church," Metropolitan Epifaniy said.