Post by Catherine Wanner, Professor of History and Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, and Tetiana Kalenychenko, Coordinator and Facilitator of the Dialogue in Action Project, and Lecturer in Religious Studies at National Pedagogical Dragomanov University.
The role of religious organizations in addressing social and cultural policies has only intensified since the Maidan protests of November 2013-February 2014. One of the signature accomplishments of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose slogan was “Army, Language, Faith,” was securing the Tomos that led to the creation of a canonically recognized Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). In an already crowded religious landscape, the question now is how this new church might shape social and political policies. Will the OCU take a lead from its northern neighbor and maintain a close alliance with the state? This is a distinct possibility given the priority President Poroshenko placed on the creation of this church in the first place for building national solidarity and his active role in bringing it into existence. (more…)