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Eastern Christianity

Ukrainian Orthodox Churches

Doctrines On all major issues the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches are in agreement with other Eastern Orthodox Churches. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)

History After the first world war the Ukraine achieved a brief period of independence (1918-1922) during which a national church, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, was established. In 1930 the Ukrainian Church was forcibly united with the Russian Orthodox Church by the Soviet government. However, some of the Ukrainian clergy refused to accept this union and formed an independent underground movement. During the second world war the attacks on the church diminished as the Soviet government sought to encourage national unity in the face of Nazi aggression. Once the war came to an end the Church was again attacked, and many sought refuge abroad. With the break up of the Soviet Union, and the Ukraine's declaration of independence of 1991, the church became free to work unhindered. The Russian Orthodox Church in the Ukraine was renamed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the hitherto clandestine Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church was formally revived. Since 1991 considerable tension has existed between the two churches over the issue of church property seized during the Soviet era.

Symbols Festal icons, Christ as Pantocrator, Mary as Theotokos. (See Eastern Orthodoxy.)

Adherents About seventy-six percent of the population of the Ukraine are Orthodox. This represents some 39,596,000 people.

Main Centre
 Kiev, Pechersk Monastery, Sichnevoho povstannia 21.