Podcast: Roundtable Osteuropa 48

Faith and Fissures: The Contested Independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church


The vast majority of Ukrainians are Orthodox. As recently as 2020, 14 percent considered themselves part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which has a distinct Ukrainian identity but historical ties to the Russian Orthodox Church. Given the notorious role of Patriarch Cyril in justifying the war, the UOC cut ties with Moscow and declared independence after the start of the full-scale invasion.

Two years on, criticism of the church has not died down, and the Ukrainian parliament is considering taking political measures against it. Why do many in Ukraine still see the UOC as a threat, and what do believers and active parishioners think of their church and its clergy? Regina Elsner and Andriy Fert give us an overview of the OUC and its place in Ukrainian society.

(Music: “Complete” by Modul is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0-License.)

Roundtable Osteuropa

Roundtable Osteuropa is a podcast by the Centre for East European and International Studies. Scholars of ZOiS and their guests discuss their research of Eastern Europe. We consider events in politics and society, while also trying to shed light on lesser-known issues – with insights from sociology, political science, geography, social anthropology, literary studies and theology.