Divisions appear in Russian Orthodox Church over its support for Putin’s war in Ukraine

Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the church, refuses to speak out against Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. Now, many of the denomination’s parishes are considering whether to break from Moscow, reports Rory Sullivan

Monday 25 April 2022 11:08
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<p>Patriarch Kirill conducts an Easter service at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, on 23 April 2022</p>

Patriarch Kirill conducts an Easter service at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, on 23 April 2022

On the holiest day in its religious calendar, the Russian Orthodox Church was struggling under the weight of its own contradictions.

As its congregations gathered for Orthodox Easter services around the world on Sunday, many questioned their loyalty to the church as never before, pained by its stance on the war in Ukraine.

Instead of urging peace, Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Moscow Patriarchate and, by extension, the Russian Orthodox Church, has actively voiced his support for the conflict.

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