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Ukraine’s Culture Ministry confirms Kiev Patriarchate disbanded

A relevant entry was made in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Non-Governmental Organizations

KIEV, July 31. /TASS/. The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture has confirmed that the Kiev Patriarchate of the disbanded Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC Kiev Patriarchate) had ceased to exist after joining the Kiev Metropolitanate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

"The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) as the governing body of that religious organization made a decision on terminating the activities of the Kiev Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church religious organization by joining the Kiev Metropolitanate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) religious organization at its meeting on July 27, 2019. An entry to the effect was made in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Non-Governmental Organizations," the ministry said in a statement published on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Culture noted that the [non-canonical] UOC Kiev Patriarchate religious association had ceased its activities by joining the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) [not recognized by other Local Churches]. "All functions of the statutory bodies of the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) have been transferred to the purview of the relevant OCU governing bodies, which received all the powers and legal grounds for making decisions regarding the future of those religious organizations that were part of the former religious association UOC Kiev Patriarchate," the ministry said.

Church crisis in Ukraine

Since the February 2014 coup, Kiev has sought to create an independent church in Ukraine that would sever ties with the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In April 2018, then Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko wrote a personal letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople asking for autocephaly for the Ukrainian church.

On December 15, Kiev hosted the so-called ‘unification’ council held under the supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and brokered by the Ukrainian authorities. The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church refused to take part in the event, stressing that both the ‘unification council’ and Poroshenko’s newly founded ecclesiastical establishment were illegitimate. Nevertheless, after the council, the Ukrainian president announced the establishment of this new church in the country - the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine.