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On 31 October 2018, the Ukrainian church problem and a threat of the “one local Orthodox Church” the creation of which is being imposed by the Ukrainian authorities, was discussed in the framework of the ‘Faith and Word” international festival of Orthodox media.

Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, secretary for inter-Orthodox relations of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, and Protodeacon Alexander Karpenko, editor-in-chief of the “Foma in Ukraine” magazine, acted as speakers, the Synodal department for Church’s Relations with Society and Mass Media reports.

Fr Igor noted that the situation in Ukraine is complex, the Kievan authorities do not hide their intention to transfer church buildings and other church property of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the so called ‘one local Orthodox Church’ that will be comprised of the noncanonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). The Ukrainian Church remains calm even in this complicated situation looking up to its Primate – His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine.

Protodeacon Alexander added that relationships among the noncanonical groups remain conflict-ridden. Representatives of the so called Kiev Patriarchate disregard the UAOC interests. St. Andrew’s cathedral, a historical church building located on Andreyevsky descent in Kiev, which had been the UAOC cathedral, was transferred to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has an important signaling effect.