THE REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LIFE OF UKRAINIANS OF YUGOLSAVIA AFTER WORLD WAR II

  • Halyna Sahan
Keywords: Yugoslavian Ukrainians, religious life, the Balkans, Ukrainian diaspora

Abstract

The paper contains the analysis of the process of revival of religious life of the Ukrainians of Yugoslavia after the Second World War. The research is based on the reports, memoirs and other materials which were published in the Ukrainian diaspora’s periodicals such as “Nova Dumka”(“The New Though”, Zagreb), “Ukrainske Slovo” (“The Ukrainian Word”, Novi Sad), “Nasha Hazeta” (“Our Newspaper”, Novi Sad), “Nasha Hazeta” (“Our Newspaper”, Vukovar), “Dumky z Dunaiu”(“The Thoughts from the Danube”, Vukovar) and others.
The author outlines the set of problems that followed the process of the religious life renewal in all of its aspects. The problems were generated by the fact that the war caused heavy losses to the religious life of the Ukrainians of Yugoslavia. Namely, churches, parochial houses and monasteries which needed reconstruction were destroyed by fire. Moreover, active representatives of Ukrainian diaspora (primarily, priests) were persecuted by the punitive bodies. The reason for it was the fact that the new state system, which was atheist by its nature, required the implementation of a new policy regarding believers and clerical institutions that were functioning in Yugoslavia. The Greek Catholics, who together with the Roman Catholics were guarded by Vatican, were also considered the “traitors and enemies” of the socialist state. Contrastingly, despite official separation of church and state, the Orthodox clergy and believers were under unspoken protection of the authorities.
The success of the issue demanded from the Ukrainians, on the one hand, to find the solution to the financial side of the problem, and on the other, to acquire from the authorities the right to free national development. A lot of efforts were also put into the unification of the Ukrainian community, by whose joint efforts it could succeed in full revival of religious life. Thus, during the 1940s – 1990s the life of the religious community ofthe Ukrainians of Yugoslavia turned out to be quite complex. However, most problems were resolved: the ruined churches were rebuilt, new parishes were opened, cultural and educational activities at churches were organized. Furthermore, the priests worked selflessly in their parishes often serving several settlements in the same time.

Published
2020-03-11