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Religion and Refugee Resettlement: Evolving Connections to Ukraine since World War II

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Several waves of Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the United States since 1945, each following a remarkably different resettlement and assimilation path. This article offers a comparative analysis of the role of religious affiliation and transnational religious organizations and networks in shaping processes of resettlement, ethnic group formation and the creation of attachments to Ukraine to explain the lower than expected levels of engagement of the last two waves with the Ukrainian diaspora and with Ukraine. Evolving global forces and the social structures within them render diasporic identities, which are closely associated with a territorially anchored sense of national culture, less appealing than the highly fluid transnational networks of religious groups. The role of religious-based resettlement organizations and their networks in the United States is likely to exert an ever greater effect on refugee resettlement and migration more generally.


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