January 24, 2024, 15:00

Over 530 temples damaged or destroyed in Ukraine since start of russia’s full-scale invasion

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, about 530 places of worship have come under fire from the invaders. Almost a quarter of the temples damaged by the occupiers can no longer be used – they were either severely damaged or completely destroyed.

Ruslan Khalikov, religious studies scholar, Head of the “Religion on Fire” project, made this statement during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

“If we talk about religious buildings damaged as a result of hostilities, then, of course, the largest number of such buildings is in the regions where hostilities are taking place. To date, we have counted approximately 530 places of worship that have come under fire. And some of them came under fire several times and were eventually destroyed,” said Ruslan Khalikov.

The highest number of damaged religious buildings is in Donetsk region, exceeding 100. Kyiv region follows with more than 80 damaged religious buildings, while Luhansk and Kharkiv regions report over 60 each. In Kherson region, more than 55 temples were affected, and over 30 in Zaporizhia region. Dozens of religious buildings were damaged in Sumy, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Temples in the areas far from the front – Ternopil, Odesa, Zhytomyr, and Vinnytsia regions – also came under fire.

According to Ruslan Khalikov, about half of all religious buildings damaged by the enemy are temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. A lot of Protestant religious buildings also come under shelling – about a third of the recorded cases. There were also cases of shelling of Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu religious buildings.

Read more: https://mediacenter.org.ua/news