Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church ( _uk. Українська Православна Церква; _ru. Украинская Православная Церковь) is a de-facto autonomous Church of Eastern Orthodoxy in Ukraine, under the ecclesiastic link to the Moscow Patriarchate. The Church is one of the two major rival Ukrainian Orthodox Churches (the other being the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate) and is the only one whose canonical status is recognized by all other major Orthodox Churches worldwide.

Name

For the purpose of distinguishing the two Orthodox Churches, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is often referred to in public as the "Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)" or UOC (MP).

The church itself insists on its name being just the "Ukrainian Orthodox Church", [http://archiv.orthodox.org.ua/page-1690.html The interview] given by Metropolitan Volodymyr (Viktor Sabodan) to Associated Press] stating that it is the sole canonic body of Orthodox Christians in the country, a Ukrainian "local church" ( _uk. Помісна Церква), a claim fiercely contested by her non-canonic rivals.

The Church is registered under the name "Ukrainian Orthodox Church" in the State Committee of Ukraine in Religious Affairs. [cite web |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20041204115821/www.derzhkomrelig.gov.ua/info_zvit_2003.html|title=On the state and tendencies of expansion of the religious situation in government-church relations in Ukraine|accessdate=2008-01-12|work=State Committee of Ukraine in Religious Affairs|language=Ukrainian]

History

Formerly known as Ukrainian exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church it received a full autonomy (a status one step short of full autocephaly) on October 27, 1990. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church considers itself to be a Ukrainian exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate as well as the descendant of the Orthodox Church of Kiev and all Rus' in Ukraine, thus claiming a direct lineage to the original Baptism of Rus' by St. Vladimir (Volodymyr) in 988.

The Metropolitan Volodymyr (Viktor Sabodan) is enthroned since 1992 as the head of the UOC under the title Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine.

The church is currently the only Ukrainian church to have canonical standing in Eastern Orthodoxy, and operates in full communion with the other Eastern Orthodox Churches. It also owns the majority of Orthodox church buildings in Ukraine and is predominant in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The official residency of Metropolitan Volodymyr is in Kiev Pechersk Lavra ("Monastery of the Caves") in Kiev.

As of 2006 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had the allegiance of 10 875 registered religious communities in Ukraine (approximately 68 percent of all Orthodox Christian communities in the country), located mostly in central, eastern and southern regions and is the largest religious body in Ukraine. However, this claim is contested by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate. Officially UOC claims to have up to 35 million followers Fact|date=September 2007 . The Ukrainian Orthodox Church's officially views other Orthodox churches of Ukraine to be "schismatic nationalist organizations" whose claims to represent Orthodoxy are canonically invalid.

The Church currently has 42 dioceses, with 58 bishops (diocesan - 42; vicar - 12; retired - 4; with them being classified as: metropolitans - 10; archbishops - 21; or bishops - 26). There is also 8516 priests, and 443 deacons. [cite web|url=http://orthodox.org.ua/eng/node/227|title=Statistical data|accessdate=2008-01-12|work=Ukrainian Orthodox Church|language=Ukrainian]

Criticism

In 2008, a Russian Orthodox church in Ukraine was accused of fomenting anti-Semitic and anti-Ukrainian propaganda in Kamianets-Podilskyi trough leaflets accusing Jews of being behind the masterminds of 1917 Russian Revolution and of 2004 Orange Revolution and also questioning the right of Ukraine to exist as a separate nation-state from Russia. [ [http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/090208Ukraine.shtml Orthodox Church Spreads Antisemitic Propaganda in Kamenets-Podolsky, Ukraine] , "Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union", September 2, 2008]

ee also

* History of Christianity in Ukraine
* Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate
* Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

References

External links

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