DESS: 270 religious buildings damaged during the war in Ukraine
In the seven months of the war, 270 structures of religious communities in Ukraine's 14 regions have been damaged or completely destroyed.
From 24 February to 20 September 2022, at least 270 religious buildings in 14 regions of Ukraine were completely destroyed or damaged to varying degrees due to military action, reports the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience (DESS). These are churches, mosques, synagogues, houses of worship, and educational and administrative buildings of religious communities in Ukraine.
The State Ethnopolitics Service noted that "the noticeable increase in the number of damaged structures since the publication of the previous release is explained by the fact that the DESS received detailed information on destroyed and damaged structures from the Jehovah's Witnesses Religious Centre in Ukraine" and asked religious communities to send the DESS confirmed information on destroyed or damaged structures.
The website of the State Ethnopolitics Service has published an updated interactive map based on the results of the monitoring conducted by the DESS in cooperation with the Academic Religious Studies Workshop.
According to the latest DESS data, five of the 270 damaged structures are Muslim, five are Jewish and the remaining 260 are Christian.
Of the 270 buildings damaged, 30 belong to Protestant communities, 21 to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, 4 to the Roman Catholic Church, 3 to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 66 to Jehovah's Witness communities, and the rest to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The UOC has 52 per cent (136 structures) of 260 damaged Christian buildings that were fully or partially destroyed during the war.
Donetsk (67) and Luhansk (58) regions have the most damaged religious buildings. They are followed by Kyiv and Kharkiv regions with 43 and 35 affected churches respectively.