Ukraine’s leader orders Orthodox Church to change its name

1000 (2)Source: Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president on Saturday signed a bill that orders the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name to reflect its ties to Moscow.

The Ukrainian church has been part of the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries, but some Ukrainian orthodox clerics, with government support, have moved to set up a separate independent Orthodox church in Ukraine. The move comes amid Ukraine’s disputes with Moscow after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday signed the bill ordering the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to explicitly indicate its link to the Moscow Patriarchate in its name.

He said that would make it easier for Orthodox believers to choose between the new independent church or an Orthodox church that is still tied to Moscow.

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