Expert Workshop on the War in Ukraine and its Impact on Ethno-Religious Minorities in the Region Held at the ECMI


The European Centre for Minority Issues hosted a two-day expert workshop on the war in Ukraine and its impact on ethno-religious minorities in the region on May 4-5, 2023. The workshop aimed to provide a platform for academics, researchers, and experts to share their insights and discuss the ongoing conflict's impact on the ethno-religious minorities in Ukraine and lay the basis for future research outputs on the topic.

The keynote speaker, Cyril Hovorun (University College Stockholm, Sweden & Loyola Marymount University, USA), presented on "The Minefields of Religious Landscape in Ukraine." He discussed the challenges and opportunities for different religious groups in Ukraine and how they are coping with the impact of the conflict on their communities. The event featured five panels, each with a moderator and several speakers, covering topics such as language behavior of national minorities, the impact of the armed conflict on the status of national minorities, and the challenges faced by Muslim organizations in Ukraine during wartime. The panels also examined the experiences of refugees from Ukraine and shifts in religious beliefs among Ukrainian youth refugees in the Polish educational system.

The workshop was moderated by Kyriaki Topidi, Nadia Zasanska (Europa-Universität Flensburg), and Elmira Muratova (Aarhus University, Denmark). The participants were mostly researchers originally from Ukraine, now based in or working for research institutions in different countries, including Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, and Ukraine.

The event was significant in shedding light on the war's impact on ethno-religious minorities in Ukraine and its role in shaping the Ukrainian nation's identity. With millions of refugees and internally displaced persons, the conflict has had a devastating impact on Ukraine's society and economy. The ECMI recognizes the importance of supporting researchers in their efforts to understand and analyze the situation. The input from the workshop's participants is meant to be conceptualized further into a publication under the current book series initiative.

The ECMI has a long-standing commitment to supporting Ukraine and its minority communities and contributing to a peaceful and inclusive future for all Ukrainians. Since the start of the war, the ECMI has implemented several initiatives related to the ongoing conflict, including support for Ukrainian researchers, roundtables on the impact of the war on minorities, or dedicated blog series on the topic.

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