Religion’s Influence in the Ukraine War

Tags: Currents Faith, Media, Ukraine, World News

Currents News Staff

The war in Ukraine has displaced millions of people.

But beyond the politics involved, religion is playing an important role in the ongoing conflict and it’s pitting churches from both countries against each other.

When a Kyiv prince converted to Christianity in the year 988 A.D, he started this church and the one in Russia which then grew to be the dominant branch. But Metropolitan Epiphanius says that now Russia is losing religious and political influence over Ukraine.

“We suffer together with Ukrainians,”  Epiphanius said. “We are part of our Ukrainian people. Especially now when the aggressor – the Russian Federation, especially Putin – is trying to destroy us as a Ukrainian nation.”

Over the years Vladimir Putin has harnessed himself, and his project for a greater Russia to the church. And so parishioners here know that their church’s very survival hangs in the balance. 54-year old Tatiana pushes piety aside just for a moment:

“Putin is such a cynical man that any evil is easy for him,” Tatiana said. “I wish he were dead! Sorry, you can’t say that in the temple, but it’s honest…”

Among the most spectacular sights all over Ukraine are the golden-domed Christian Orthodox churches. Here, especially in wartime, they’ve taken on the outsize role of nationhood.