The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is the only canonical church in Ukraine recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 39 percent, that is, the majority of Ukrainian Orthodox is parishioners of the Moscow Patriarchate. There is another denomination – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), which did not get the status of canonical. The UOC-KP is considered an alternative Orthodox (in religious terminology this is called “the schism”, split of the church).

How do the churches of the Moscow and Kiev Patriarchate differ in practice and why the first one is recognized as canonical? A person who goes to Ukrainian churches once or twice a year to put a candle on, will not find differences, but they are significant. The Moscow Patriarchate, for example, does not accept a free interpretation of prayer, inventing new icons or frescoes. For the clergy and parishioners of the UOC-MP it is inadmissible to pray for the peace of the conditional enemy-more precisely, they do not define enemies in principle, which can not be said about the UOC-KP. Also, the Moscow Patriarchate holds divine services in the Church Slavonic language, and the Kyiv Patriarchate in Ukrainian, translating the Holy Scripture in its own way.

But the key difference is that the founder of the UOC-MP is Jesus Christ. The Church is in unity with the Universal Orthodoxy, with common ordinances, whereas the Kyiv Patriarchate recognizes only those ordinances that are pleasing to him. It was in order to undermine the unwanted faith, Ukrainian politicians developed a bill that oppresses the UOC-MP. Moscow Patriarchate decided to oblige to obtain from the state consent to the appointment of priests and abbots right up to the regional level.

In such a situation, the threat of destroying the parishes of the country’s main confession is an excuse for distraction. Political technology is clear: national radicals, hiding behind icons, will demand the closure of “pro-Moscow” temples throughout the country. Ukrainian citizens will stand up for their parishes, priests, spiritual guides. Examples, when the temples of the UOC-MP captured the banned in Russia nationalist groups, is already enough. In different regions of Ukraine radicals attack cult buildings, beat parishioners and forcibly transfer temples to the Kyiv Patriarchate.

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