Ukraine OKs property law that could affect 12,000 churches

1000Source: Associated Press

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday adopted a bill spelling out procedures for transferring church property after a new unified Ukrainian Orthodox church was granted independence.

The bill could potentially affect some 12,000 churches in Ukraine and vast amounts of property, including the gems of Orthodox Christianity like the vast Pechersk Monastery in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople earlier this month granted independence to a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church, formally severing its centuries-long ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. The move forces clergy and believers in Ukraine to choose between belonging to Moscow-backed churches or the new Ukrainian one.

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