ISSN 2330-717X

Ukrainian Orthodox Church And Orthodox Church Of Ukraine Are Now Legal Synonyms – OpEd


The Ukrainian justice ministry officially registered the religious organization, “the Kyiv Metropolitanate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the Orthodox Church of Ukraine), thus making it official that the two terms, Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Orthodox Church of Ukraine, are legally synonymous.

That new reality was underscored by a statement of Andrey Yurash, director of the department for religious and nationality affairs of the Ukrainian culture ministry who said that officials and Ukrainians will use the terms interchangeably, an arrangement that has been cleared with the Ecumenical Patriarch (

For that to be possible, the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate must use a new name, and the Russian culture ministry says it will unilaterally take action to rename that church if it does not change its name on its own to show its links to Russia (

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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