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Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A. (1915 - Present) - Religious Group

Religious Family: Eastern Liturgical (Orthodox)
Religious Tradition: Orthodox
Description: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (UOC) is a US-based autonomous church under the spiritual supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey. The history of the UOC goes back to 1915, when the first Ukrainian Orthodox parish, Holy Trinity, was founded in Chicago by Fr. Gregory Chomycky. Later, it became the St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Cathedral on Cortez Street. The Ukrainian immigrants in America were increasingly aware of their distinct ethnic identity – a process which was reinforced by the short-lived independence of Ukraine as a state (1918-21) before it was absorbed into the Soviet Union. Some ethnically Ukrainian parishes and clergy from other Orthodox and Eastern Catholic (“Uniate”) groups decided that they should have their own Church. In 1924, Archbishop John (Theodorovich) arrived from Ukraine and assumed the leadership over the newly formed American-Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. Under his administration, the Church saw rapid growth. However, Archbishop John had been sent to America by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which only existed in the Ukraine during 1921-27, by which time the Communist government had arrested all its bishops and most of the clergy. Because this Autocephalous Church had not yet received canonical recognition by other Orthodox Churches throughout the world, the validity of Archbishop John’s Episcopal ordination was questioned by many clergy and lay church members. As a result, in 1929, the second rival Ukrainian Orthodox Church body was formed, which was called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America. In 1936, it was recognized and accepted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which solidified its status as “canonical” (“lawful”) Church. The two Ukrainian Orthodox groups existed until the arrival (1947) of Archbishop Mstyslav (Skrypnyk), a bishop of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which had been re-established in the territories of Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine during the period of occupation by German Nazis. Archbishop Mstyslav was instrumental in merging most parishes of Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (1950). In 1995, the UOC of USA was accepted as an autonomous Church into the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, an event that finalized the recognition of the UOC of the USA by other Orthodox Churches. The present-day membership of UOC is very diverse: second- and third-generation Ukrainian-Americans, new immigrants from the post-Communist Ukraine, and American converts to the Orthodox faith (former Roman Catholics and Protestants). The center of the UOC of the USA is in Bound Brook, NJ. The extensive complex includes the Consistory administrative offices, St. Andrew Memorial Church, cemetery, mausoleum, St. Sophia Seminary, museum, the Archive and Research Center, and the Ukrainian Cultural Center. The best examples of traditional Ukrainian church architecture in the United States include St. Katherine Parish, Arden Hills, MN; St. Andrew Cathedral, Silver Spring, MD; St. Andrew Parish, Boston, MA; St. Andrew Parish, Los Angeles, CA; St. Vladimir Cathedral, Parma, OH; St. Mary Protectress, Rochester, NY; St. Mary Cathedral, Southfield, MI; St. Luke Parish, Warners, NY; and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Youngstown, OH.
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Connections: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.

 Group (Active) 
 Group (Defunct) 

Maps: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.1

Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2020)

Congregations (2020)

Top 5 Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A. States (2020)1 [View all States]

Rank State Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Pennsylvania 22 2,784 0.21
2 Delaware 2 200 0.20
3 New Jersey 9 1,694 0.18
4 Connecticut 3 630 0.17
5 Maryland 4 950 0.15

Top 5 Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A. Counties (2020)1 [View all Counties]

Rank County Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Los Alamos County, NM 1 80 4.12
2 Clarion County, PA 1 100 2.69
3 Mercer County, NJ 2 670 1.73
4 Broome County, NY 1 325 1.64
5 Indiana County, PA 1 125 1.50

Top 5 Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A. Metro Areas (2020)1 [View all Metro Areas]

Rank Metro Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Los Alamos, NM Micro Area 1 80 4.12
2 Trenton-Princeton, NJ Metro Area 2 670 1.73
3 Indiana, PA Micro Area 1 125 1.50
4 Binghamton, NY Metro Area 1 325 1.32
5 Johnstown, PA Metro Area 3 170 1.27

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., Members (1952 - 2006)2

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., Ministers & Churches (1952 - 2006)2

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., Trends (1952 - 2006)2

1952 70,000 102 84
1953 71,000 102 93
1954 71,248 102 92
1955 71,940 104 93
1956 83,000 112 91
1957 83,000 118 90
1958 84,000 115 90
1959 84,500 118 92
1960 85,000 120 96
1961 86,700 124 98
1962 87,000 126 100
1963 87,000 125 100
1964 87,200 127 104
1965 87,250 130 105
1966 87,745 131 107
2000 13,000 124 115
2006 50,000 114 118


1 The 2020 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include data for 372 religious bodies or groups. Of these, the ASARB was able to gather data on congregations and adherents for 217 and on congregations only for 155. [More information on the data sources]

2 All data on clergy, members, and churches are taken from the National Council of Churches’ Historic Archive CD and recent print editions of the Council’s Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. The CD archives all 68 editions of the Yearbook (formerly called Yearbook of the Churches and Yearbook of American Churches) from 1916 to 2000. Read more information on the Historic Archive CD and the Yearbook.

Membership figures are "inclusive." According to the Yearbook, this includes "those who are full communicant or confirmed members plus other members baptized, non-confirmed or non-communicant." Each denomination has its own criteria for membership.

When a denomination listed on the Historic Archive CD was difficult to identify, particularly in early editions of the Yearbook, the ARDA staff consulted numerous sources, including Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions and the Handbook of Denominations in the United States. In some cases, ARDA staff consulted the denomination’s website or contacted its offices by phone. When a denomination could not be positively identified, its data were omitted.

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