History of Religion and Its Current Situation in Ukraine
Pre-Christian (pagan) beliefs and the ancient Ukrainian worldview is difficult to study, however, it is a known fact that paganism has survived till our days – in folk songs, customs, rites and traditions. And they are the main source of our knowledge about the pagan period.
The pre-Christian Ukrainian worldview was mythological, but it should not be confused with Greek or other similar mythology.
The ancient gods personified natural forces, various manifestations of human life, were defenders of certain localities, patrons of crafts and the like. Religious rituals of paganism covered the entire natural-economic cycle and all life cycle – from birth to death.
Christianity occupied the territory of Ukraine in the first centuries of our era.
Since then, two religions have been compatible in a certain sense: Christianity is official, paganism is national.
At the present moment, the situation is completely different.
A significant number of citizens hesitate between faith and disbelief. The rest – non-believers, convinced atheists, are simply indifferent to religion. At the same time, almost 85% of Ukrainians say that they have undergone baptism, it means that they are formally Christians, and half of non-believers and atheists attend church services during religious holidays.
The religiousness of believers is often demonstrative in nature and is reduced only to the fulfillment of formal Christian requirements, for example, wearing a cross. Only 20% of believers attend the service once a week, another 20% – once a month, half – only on religious holidays. Slightly more than a third of believers know only one prayer, another third two or three.
Religious consciousness of Ukrainians, both believers and non-believers, is characterized by marked uncertainty. As a rule, they recognize the existence of God, but they do not always believe in the existence of the soul, Heaven and Hell.
In fact, the religious situation in Ukraine is much more complicated since, Christian believers are divided into Orthodox and Catholics and in addition to that, currently, many other religions are confessed. So we can even notice religious pluralism in Ukraine.