Poll: More than half of Ukrainians consider themselves religious

Posted: Friday, October 06, 2000

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- More than half of Ukrainians consider themselves religious, with most of the believers adhering to the Orthodox Church, a poll released this week said.

Fifty-eight percent of the 2,017 adult Ukrainians surveyed last month by the independent Ukrainian Center for Social and Political Studies described themselves as religious. The rest said they had doubts about faith, were nonreligious or atheist.

The poll, cited by the Interfax news agency, also found that 66 percent of believers said they belonged to the Orthodox Church. The news agency did not report figures for non-Orthodox believers such as Protestants, Jews, Muslims or Eastern rite Roman Catholics, who constitute a significant religious minority in Ukraine.

Curiously, 12 percent of the stated atheists also described themselves as belonging to the Orthodox Church.

The poll's margin of error was not given.

Ukraine, like other former Soviet republics, has experienced a religious revival since the collapse of the officially atheist Soviet Union. The country's dominant Orthodox Church is split into rival factions, who altogether comprise some 12,500 religious congregations.

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