Ukraine creates Orthodox Church independent from Russian tutelage

Protesters gather in front of St. Sophia cathedral, in Kiev, during the council

Protesters gather in front of St. Sophia cathedral, in Kiev, during the council

  |  AFP

A council of Ukrainian Orthodox ecclesiastics gathered on Saturday, in Kiev, to create a church independent from Moscow's religious tutelage, a measure aimed at securing "the country's spiritual security and independence," and an additional symbol of the divorce between Ukraine and Russia.

The announcement made before a crowd of sympathizers in the center of the capital was made by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who made Ukrainian religious independence a national security issue and one of the key elements of his campaign for the presidential elections of March 31.

"This sacred day will become part of our history for the creation of an independent united Church in Ukraine. This is the day of our definitive independence from Russia," he proclaimed in a live statement on TV.

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