SWB Virtual Talk on Identity and Religious Freedom: Dilemmas of National Security and Democracy in Wartime Ukraine

Scholars without Borders Seminar
Event Format

This presentation will analyze the impact of Russia’s invasion on religious politics in Ukraine, specifically on intra-Orthodox competition. One of the consequences of shifts in attitudes about identity in Ukraine since 2014 has been a decline in popular identification with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), the branch of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine historically subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church. These attitudinal shifts further accelerated after Russia's 2022 full-scale invasion and, with calls for “spiritual independence” from Moscow, the Ukrainian government has initiated legal measures that could eliminate the UOC-MP as an institution in Ukraine. Such policies remain controversial, however. This talk will analyze these policies and the broader dilemma of defending national security and protecting religious freedom at times of war.


The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or daviscenter@fas.harvard.edu in advance of your participation or visit. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance if possible. Please note that the Davis Center will make every effort to secure services but that services are subject to availability.