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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ukraine and Orthodoxy

 Protesters in the center of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev

The error here is that one of the three Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine represents all of the Orthodox in the country.

The Kyivan Patriarchate (Patriarch Filaret) is in a schism with the Moscow Patriarchate and as such its position in the current upheaval is not surprising. It may still be important for other reasons, but it is not because it tells us anything about the strength of “pro-Russian forces.”
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is in communion with Moscow accounts for a large percentage of Orthodox Christians in the country, and so to the extent that religious divisions line up with political ones there is reason to assume that the Kyivan Patriarchate’s support for the protests would make those in communion with Moscow even less likely to sympathize with the protesters



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