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Poroshenko Uses Newly-Created ‘Independent Orthodox Church’ In Political Game Against Zelensky: Kiev Patriarchate

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Poroshenko Uses Newly-Created 'Independent Orthodox Church' In Political Game Against Zelensky: Kiev Patriarchate

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The sitaution with the so-called independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), that has received a thomos from the Patriarchate of Constantinople despite the resistance of the rest of the Orthodox World, is becoming more and more surrealistic.

In June, one of the OCU creators, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate), held a local synod declaring its de-facto withdrawal from the newly established religious entity. The OCU de-facto collapsed a half year after its creation. Since then, the conflict between the OCU and the Kiev Patriarchate have been on the rise.

In August, the Kiev Patriarchate came with new accusations in an attempt to exploit the rift between former President Petro Poroshenko (one of the key supporters of the OCU) and current President Volodymyr Zelensky.

On August 7, the Kiev Patriarchate released an official statement saying that Poroshenko is using the OCU as a tool against Zelensky and his team. The statement accused Poroshenko of violating the constitution by meddling into religious affairs. It also called that the OCU is not an idependent entity, but depends on the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Therefore, the Kiev Patriarchate came to the conclusion that the creation of the OCU and actions of Poroshenko pose a threat to the ‘really independent’ Ukrainian church – the Kiev Patriarchate (in fact another noncanonical entity created as a tool of gaining wealth and political influence by its leaders).

In conclusion, the statement called on the society to start a struggle to defend the Kiev Patriarchate facing pressure from the OCU [that the Kiev Patriarchate has helped to create].

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