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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The 53 countries supporting China's crackdown on Hong Kong

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Rolex/Pool/Getty Images

China's foreign ministry and state media have declared victory after 53 countries joined a statement at the UN Human Rights Council supporting Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong — compared to 27 who criticized the law.

The big picture: The list of 53 countries was not initially published along with the statement, but has been obtained by Axios. It is made up primarily of autocratic states, including North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Zimbabwe.

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