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Russian Orthodox Church severs ties with Constantinople over Ukraine

Metropolitan Hilarian, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. Photo: Viktor Drachev\TASS via Getty Images
Metropolitan Hilarian, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. Photo: Viktor Drachev\TASS via Getty Images

The Russian Orthodox Church said Monday that it has severed ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the leading authority for the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians, for supporting Ukraine's successful push for an independent church, reports Reuters.

The details: This is reportedly the biggest split in Christianity in 1,000 years. It comes just a week after the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was approval to split from the Russian Church — a move that sought to prevent Russian from interfering in its affairs. Metropolitan Hilarion, a cleric who’s infuriated by Constantinople’s decision to support the Ukrainian church's independence, said the Holy Synod had no choice but to “completely sever ties.”

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