Autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church: Religious Transitions Before and After Tomos and Attitudes Towards it (the Case of the Volyn Region)

  • Svitlana Salnikova
Keywords: sociology of religion, religious transitions, autocephaly in Ukraine, Orthodox Church, political support of church


The attainment of autocephaly by the Orthodox Church of Ukraine intensified the religious transitions of parishes that were preceded by individual parishioners’ switches. The highest dynamics of such transitions occurred in the Volyn Region in the north-western part of Ukraine. These transitions refer exclusively to a switch from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine without affecting other religious communities. Most of the population supported the autocephalous status of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, for they consider granting autocephaly as a major historical event for the Ukrainian nation. The process of active religious transitions was primarily determined by the aptness of each parish community and political climate on a national level. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine was able to maintain its high regard, but with the change of political power in Ukraine in 2019, it lost political support. The process of religious transitions dwindled.

Sociology of Religion