The reception of the idea of a national church in the Ukrainian intellectual environment in the context of current socio-political events in the country is examined here. Among the most influential Ukrainian religious scholars, there is a dominant idea that the formation of a national church is a part of the state formation and security of the country. They opposed historical distortions of this idea, as it occurs in case of ethnophyletism—domination of the national over the ecclesiastical, and etatism—the domination of the state, imperial (in the form of the Orthodox empire) over the ecclesiastical. Signs of these distortions are observed in the modern Russian Orthodox Church. They were recognized by the participants of the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete in 2016. In Ukraine, a fundamentally different model is being formed, which presupposes the unity of religious and national values on the basis of synergy. According to such criteria, a national church is the church of any denomination that bears the national idea—independence of the country, promotes the development and preservation of the national culture, in particular its language, represents the idea of a sovereign state in various religious centers and institutions including the center of its jurisdiction. The concept of “a national church” is not synonymous with the concept of “a national religion.” In Ukraine, within the same confession, there are ideologically opposing Orthodox churches (Ukrainocentric and Moscow-centric)–the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PCU) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP). Similar to the concept of “a national church” is the concept of “national religious associations.” In terms of the Ukrainian reality, these include the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (formed in December 2018), the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Lutheran Church, and various ethnic communities of Ukrainian neo-pagans, as well as some Muslim organizations, especially those who care for the Crimean ethno-autochthon—the Crimean Tatars. Therefore, in Ukraine, most churches support the country's progressive development. But none of them influences the majority of the population, and therefore can claim to be the only national church.
Ishchuk, Natalia and Sagan, Oleksandr
"The Idea of a National Church in the Ukrainian Intellectual Discourse,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 40
, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol40/iss1/7