Pavlo Smytsnyuk is former director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

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Celebrating Easter in Ukraine

by Pavlo Smytsnyuk 02-21-2023
‘It's beautiful that what is celebrated in the church is in symphony with what people see around themselves.’
A Ukrainian woman and girl are sitting together as they paint an Easter egg.

A woman and girl attend an Easter egg painting class held in a bomb shelter in Lviv. More than a third of Ukraine’s population is displaced by Russia’s invasion. / Mykola Tys / Getty Images

UKRAINE IS, IN A WAY, a very pluralistic country. Nobody has an absolute majority. The Orthodox are the biggest group of believers, but they are divided into two jurisdictions — one that is independent and another one that depends, to a bigger or smaller degree, on Russia and the patriarchate of Moscow. Around 10 percent of the Ukrainian population are Catholic, mostly Eastern Catholic, and follow the same calendar and liturgy as the Orthodox. One to 2 percent are Latin Rite Catholics, and 1 to 2 percent are Protestant.