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Opendatabot: 63 churches have switched to Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2023

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 10, 2023 11:39 PM 2 min read
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Sixty-three churches previously linked to the Moscow Patriarchate have joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine so far in 2023, according to info published by Opendatabot on April 10.

The churches are located in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Volyn, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Chernivtsi, and Lviv oblasts.

There are 8,505 churches subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, Opendatabot wrote.

A map provided by Opendatabot shows that Donetsk, Khmelnytsky, and Vinnytsia oblasts have the highest concentration of churches associated with the Moscow Patriarchate, with 683, 613, and 563 churches respectively.

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was granted autocephaly (ecclesiastical independence) by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople in January 2019, is not to be confused with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Multiple cities across Ukraine have revoked the land rights of churches belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate or prohibited them from continuing to hold services.

On April 4, the Khmelnytskyi Сity Сouncil revoked the Moscow Patriarchate's land rights after a military officer was assaulted at their place of worship.

A scandal erupted in the village of Zadubrivka in Chernivtsi Oblast on April 5, when parishioners of the Moscow Patriarchate temporarily obstructed a memorial service for a fallen Ukrainian soldier.

A group of people attempted to enter the church from a side entrance only to be met by three men and a priest who used fire extinguishers to try and stop them. The group managed to enter the church and removed a crowbar that had been placed on the main door of the church, allowing the mourners to enter with the body of the fallen soldier.

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