The Orthodox Church of Ukraine becomes independent from the Russian Orthodox Church

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Publication Date January 2019
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The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has granted the Ukrainian Orthodox Church independence from Moscow on the 5th of January 2019. The spiritual leader signed the decree of autocephaly (independence) in a ceremony in Istanbul.

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Earlier the Russian Orthodox Church had broken ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople because of its approval of the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The Russian Orthodox Church argued the action to be illegal, as the approval of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople renounces an agreement made in 1686 that places that Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow.

When the the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople gave his approval for the independent Church, he also reinstated priests, bishops and church members that were previously ex-communicated by Moscow.

Ukraine accused the Orthodox Church of having a damaging influence on the country and allowing the Kremlin to use it to advocate Russian expansionism.

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Commentary and Analysis
Politico, 15.10.18: Russian Orthodox Church breaks with Constantinople
Politico, 12.10.18: Ukrainian Orthodox Church granted divorce from Moscow
EUobserver, 16.10.18: Orthodox church split just tip of Putin's crumbling 'soft power' in Ukraine
New York Times, 15.10.18: Russia Takes Further Step Toward Major Schism in Orthodox Church
BBC News, 17.10.18: Orthodox Church split: Five reasons why it matters
BBC News, 16.10.18: Russian Orthodox Church severs links with Constantinople
Deutsche Welle, 16.10.18: Opinion: Orthodox Church rift is a defeat for Vladimir Putin
The Guardian, 05.01.19: Ukraine: new Orthodox church gains independence from Moscow
BBC News, 05.01.19: Ukraine Orthodox Church granted independence from Russian Church
Euro|topics, January 2019: Ukrainian Church officially independent

EurActiv, 16.10.18: Russian Orthodox Church breaks with Constantinople in row over Ukraine
Deutsche Welle, 16.10.18: Ukraine-Russian Orthodox church rift extends to Germany
Deutsche Welle, 15.10.18: Russian Orthodox Church 'cuts ties' with Constantinople
Reuters, 06.01.19: Ecumenical Patriarch hands over decree, sealing Ukraine church independence
Deutsche Welle, 05.01.19: Ukraine Orthodox church gains independence from Russia

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