Ukraine, Moscow, Ukrainian Orthodox Church discussed on All Things Considered

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George in western Ukraine posted a sign on its front gate Condemning Russia which is pretty out of character because this church belongs to the Ukrainian orthodox church of the Moscow patriarchate as in it follows a bishop in Moscow We are saying God bless Anthos I thought this church would be empty when I stopped by for Sunday services It's hard to find anyone in Ukraine these days who owns up to ties with Russia But I was wrong God is perfect Can't even find her own Amazing Worshippers are crammed in shoulder to shoulder women in lace head coverings children squeezing through our legs the smell of candles a glow of a chandelier illuminating hundreds of icons of saints They're here to pray And also to witness something extraordinary When bearded golden robed priests carry bread and wine to the altar they normally invoke the name of their bishops in both Moscow and Ukraine But today They refuse to say the Moscow bishop's name It might sound like a small liturgical change but for Orthodox Christians I would call them a serious earthquake in the orthodox world Nicholas denisenko is a theology professor at Valparaíso university in Indiana There are many orthodox churches that stayed on Russia's side or kind of were waiting to see what was going to happen with us And some church leaders are outraged at what they're seeing They're outraged he says at the failure of their patriarch in Moscow to denounce this war Instead in his sermon Sunday the Russian Orthodox patriarch kirill defended Russia's invasion And said it had to do with gay pride parades in Ukraine Some Ukrainian churches have already broken away from Moscow over the years And now mikola Dani Levitch spokesman for all the remaining Ukrainian churches that are still allied with Moscow tells NPR Did he plans to ask church leaders for independence from Moscow It's a change that would affect more than 5 million Ukrainians Cyril Ho Varun is an orthodox priest who worked in Moscow advising the patriarch Not only did the Russian church back Vladimir Putin's boar It helped justify it hoveround says with bogus claims that orthodox faithful were being persecuted in Ukraine And Russia needed to step in I saw this ideology in its cradle And I was really terrified He says he tried to warn the Moscow patriarch as early as 2010 that if he backed Putin he could lose his Ukrainian churches But he says the church did not listen Many people in the orthodox world not just in Russia They see Putin as new awful example Overrun is now calling for his own fellow priests to face justice for collaborating with Putin.

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