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Eastern Christianity

Ukrainian Uniate Church

Doctrines Like other Uniate churches, the Ukrainian Uniate Church maintains allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church while observing the rites of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Ukrainian Uniate Church recognises the primacy of the see of Rome but retains its own eastern traditions, for example allowing its clergy to marry.

History The Ukrainian Uniate Church was established in 1596 by the Union of Brest-Litovsk. This permitted Orthodox clergymen to continue observing the eastern rite while transferring their allegiance to the pope. The church suffered serious persecution during the Soviet era. In 1946 at the Synod of Lvov the Uniates were forced to join the Russian Orthodox Church. By the mid 1980s there were no eastern rite clergy. During the time of the Gorbachev regime the Ukrainian Catholic Church was legalised. The church uses the Byzantine ritual. In June 1992 there were 2,700 Uniate churches in the Ukraine.

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

Adherents There are an estimated 4 to 5 million adherents (Harris et al. 1994, 254).

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