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Odesa orthodox church breaks with Moscow

Believers of the Holy Assumption Parish
Believers of the Holy Assumption Parish

The congregation and clergy of the Holy Dormition parish in Oleksandrivka, Odesa Oblast, has decided to break ties with the Russian Orthodox Church and transfer under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).

The transition was announced by the Odesa eparchy of the OCU on Jan. 23.

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The decision was made by the religious community along with their priest, Mykhailo Kharabara.

"Bishop Afanasiy has issued the appropriate decrees and also approved the new statute of the [Oleksandrivka] religious community," the statement said.

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According to the OpenDataBot platform, there are still 415 churches in Odesa Oblast affiliated with the ROC. Since the beginning of the war, only one church in the region had joined the OCU.

Since November 2022, Ukraine’s SBU security service has been conducting inspections in monasteries, churches, and premises of the ROC all over Ukraine. During the counterintelligence activities, a large amount of pro-Russian literature was found, as well as Russians with suspicious documents.

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On Jan. 19, 2023, the Cabinet submitted to the Parliament a bill to ban the activities of Russian-controlled religious organizations.

Since late 2022, several Ukrainian oblasts voted to ban ROC activity at the regional level.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine