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.
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