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About 150 church buildings in Ukraine have both rejected the Ukrainian Orthodox Church below Moscow and embraced the Kyiv-based Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) or are within the strategy of doing so, in line with OCU head Metropolitan Epiphanius.
“In recent days, we are seeing the beginning of a wave of transitions from the ROC [Russian Orthodox Church] to the OCU,” Bishop Epiphanius, the top of the Kyiv-based OCU, mentioned in a nationwide telethon, Ukrinform reported. “And in almost a few days we have already made more than 50 transitions. Now we say that about 100 communities have already decided, they are already in the process of transition.”
“That is, gradually Ukrainians who have been in spiritual delusion so far are beginning to see,” Epiphanius added. “Community after community, throughout Ukraine, in every region, not only in the West, but also in the Center, in the East and in the South.”
Every day, the OCU reviews that one or one other neighborhood has determined to reject the Moscow-based church hierarchy, Epiphanius mentioned. This change roughly quantities to switching church denominations – it could be analogous to a conservative congregation rejecting the liberal Episcopal Church to affix the Anglican Communion.
“And according to the law, every community has the right to change its jurisdiction,” the Kyiv metropolitan mentioned. “Therefore, I urge the communities of the Moscow Patriarchate to make appropriate decisions in the future, not to remain silent, but to join the recognized Orthodox Church.”
The Kyiv-based OCU broke away from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). While the OCU began in 1995, it gained official recognition at an Oct. 2018 synod in Constantinople. The Metropolitan Epiphanius I used to be elected in Dec. 2018.
A big majority of Ukraine’s inhabitants identifies as Eastern Orthodox Christian, whereas a major minority of Ukrainian Catholics worship with a Byzantine liturgy much like the Orthodox however are loyal to the pope, surveys present.
A 2018 survey discovered that about 67.3% of Ukraine’s inhabitants identifies as one or one other strand of Orthodox Christianity, with 28.7% a part of the Kyiv-based OCU, 23.4% merely “Orthodox,” and 12.8% UOC-MP. Another 7.7% of the inhabitants identifies as broadly Christian, whereas Ukrainian Byzantine Rite Catholics make up 9.4%, Protestants make up 2.2%, Latin Rite Catholics make up 0.8%, Muslims make up 2.5%, and Judaism makes up 0.4%. Another 11% declared themselves non-religious or unaffiliated.