Tag: Ukraine

A Theological Case for a Religiously Pluralistic Ukraine
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and Politics

A Theological Case for a Religiously Pluralistic Ukraine

Current legislative proposals to restrict, even ban, the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) are bringing two divergent paths into focus. I believe that Christian teaching directs Ukraine’s believers to affirm vigorous religious pluralism, rather than the present trajectory of establishing one national Ukrainian church. I write as a theologian, not a legal expert;…

Continue reading
The Orthodox Church of Finland and the War in Ukraine
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and Conflict

The Orthodox Church of Finland and the War in Ukraine

Orthodox Christians in Russia are sometimes surprised to learn that Patriarch Kirill is only representing the Russian Orthodox Church and that his views can in no way be taken as the views of the entire Orthodox Church. Orthodox in the West sometimes complain that their church leadership has remained silent about the war in Ukraine….

Continue reading
The Moscow Patriarchate and the “Struggle for War”
Religion and Conflict

The Moscow Patriarchate and the “Struggle for War”

On March 27, 2024, an extraordinary session of the World Russian People’s Council (WRPC) was held in Moscow. Patriarch Kirill personally presided over the congress. The main event of the Congress was the approval of the Edict (in Russian: Nakaz) of the XXV World Russian People’s Council, “The Present and Future of the Russian World.”…

Continue reading
When Theology Fuels the War
Religion and Conflict

When Theology Fuels the War False Prophecy and State Policy in “The Present and Future of the Russian World” Document

On March 27, the World Russian People’s Council (WRPC), headed by Patriarch Kirill (Gundiaev), met at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow to ratify its programmatic document, “The Present and Future of the Russian World.” The document opens with a section on the Russian war in Ukraine, followed by a section on the…

Continue reading
Letter to Russia: The Importance of Finding Those Who Are United in Spirit
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Religion and Conflict

Letter to Russia: The Importance of Finding Those Who Are United in Spirit

Editor’s Note: The Orthodox Church in Russia is divided, but this division is not canonical nor administrative. Moreover, it is not always visible from the outside. While the official Church has become an integral part of Putin’s political regime, on a deeper level, there is resistance on behalf of small Orthodox communities and individuals who…

Continue reading
History is Not Your Friend
Christian Practice, Church History, Religion and Politics

History is Not Your Friend Christian Pacifism and the Imagined Past

It perhaps goes without saying that we have a tendency to construct our historical narratives less out of concern for accurately depicting the past and more out of a desire to make sense of the present, particularly where “making sense” means finding in history evidence for our own views with respect to contemporary debates. In…

Continue reading
By Silence God is Betrayed…Again
Religion and Conflict

By Silence God is Betrayed…Again

On May 11th, 2023, Moscow priest John Koval was defrocked by the ecclesiastical court after being suspended by Patriarch Kirill in February of the same year. His offense was replacing the word “victory” with “peace” in the “Prayer for Holy Rus’” mandated by the Patriarchate of Moscow to be included in all litanies. The “offensive”…

Continue reading
Inter-Orthodox Relations in the Symbolic Field of Ukrainian Society
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and Conflict

Inter-Orthodox Relations in the Symbolic Field of Ukrainian Society

The last year has been a difficult and conflictual one in Ukraine. It seems that war has become a way of life and thinking. It reanimates conflicts, exposes people’s feelings, opens old wounds, provokes intolerance and the search for an enemy, embitters, and most importantly, it makes people believe that there are simple solutions to…

Continue reading
On Non-Violence, Defense, and Victory in the Context of the Russian Aggression against Ukraine
Religion and Conflict

On Non-Violence, Defense, and Victory in the Context of the Russian Aggression against Ukraine

First of all, let me make my standpoint clear: I am from Ukraine, I am Orthodox, I have experience and interest in peacebuilding, and I co-translated the document For the Life of the World: Towards the Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church (FLOW) into Ukrainian and Russian. I find this document a profound and inspiring…

Continue reading
Humble Abuse and Responsibility
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Public Life

Humble Abuse and Responsibility Some Reflections on the Situation Around the UOC

First, I would like to say two things. From 2009 to 2019, I was quite involved in the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC)—from singing and helping a priest-monk at a local parish near Kyiv to assisting the bishop during international trips to translating for international ecumenical guests at Lavra, the metropolia, and the…

Continue reading
Violence and Non-Violence: From Constantine to Ukraine
Religion and Conflict, Religion and Politics

Violence and Non-Violence: From Constantine to Ukraine

It can be difficult to fathom the mindset of the followers of Jesus in the early to mid fourth century, as they gradually abandoned their commitment to the Way of total love towards all, even enemies. Before being called Christians, the disciples of Jesus were known as the people of the Way. What Way? The Way that…

Continue reading
The Russian-Ukrainian War is Now a Theological Crisis
Religion and Conflict, Religion and Politics, Theology

The Russian-Ukrainian War is Now a Theological Crisis

In his 2006 book titled The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, historian Mark Noll argued that the American Civil War of the 19th century was, among other things, a crisis not only of differing biblical interpretations but of the very concept of the Bible. The South and the North interpreted the Scriptural outlook on…

Continue reading
Of Camels and Gnats
Religion and Politics

Of Camels and Gnats

As I write this, the drama surrounding the expulsion of the monks of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry from the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is being played out, a drama simultaneously sad, understandable, and scandalous. I first visited the Lavra in November of 1988. A portion of the monastery had just been re-opened, and it…

Continue reading
Drama at the Lavra: What’s at Stake?
Religion and Conflict, Religion and Politics

Drama at the Lavra: What’s at Stake?

The decision of the Ukrainian government to terminate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s (UOC) lease at the Kyiv Pechers’ka Lavra monastery complex has dominated Orthodox news in recent weeks. The events leading up to the decision have stirred up emotions, generated debate, and given birth to rumors on the state’s objectives. Dispassionate analysis is at the…

Continue reading
Save Kyiv Theological Academy
Education and Academia, Religion and Politics

Save Kyiv Theological Academy

Students of Kyiv Theological Academy In 2022, the Russian Federation began full-scale military aggression against Ukraine. There are already many thousands of victims in this terrible war, not only military, but also civilians.   The Ukrainian Orthodox Church took the side of the Ukrainian people from the very beginning of the war. Already on February 24,…

Continue reading
On the Way to a Unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine
Inter-Orthodox Relations

On the Way to a Unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine Challenges and Perspectives

On February 16, the second face-to-face meeting of initiative groups of clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was held in Sophia National Sanctuary Complex in Kyiv. Its final appeal we published on Public Orthodox earlier. Now we follow up with the impressions and comments of…

Continue reading
Saviors on Weapon Boards
Culture and Arts

Saviors on Weapon Boards Two Kinds of Social Ethos during Wartime

  Icon painting is rightly considered to be the visual expression of the Orthodox tradition. The icon speaks of the Gospel, the liturgy, the hymnography, the saints, the dogmas, and the pedagogy of the church. Icons testify to the reality of God’s Incarnation, the image of God in each of us, and mystically lead us…

Continue reading
Appeal of the participants of the interchurch dialogue in St. Sophia of Kyiv to the bishops, clergy, and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine
Documents, Inter-Orthodox Relations

Appeal of the participants of the interchurch dialogue in St. Sophia of Kyiv to the bishops, clergy, and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine

No official dialogue has thus far been established between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (under the Moscow Patriarchate’s jurisdiction until May 2022) and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (which received autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 2019), yet this is not an insurmountable obstacle to the informal dialogue on the grassroots level. Active priests and lay…

Continue reading
Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God?
Documents, Ethics, Religion and Conflict

Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God? An open letter to the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church

  Your Eminences! My letter is addressed to the Orthodox bishops in Russia. I have intentionally not collected signatures or involved any Church structures or public organizations, because I am addressing not the episcopal body, not the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchy, but each of you personally. My letter’s addressee is an Orthodox Christian who…

Continue reading
War and Eschatology
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Conflict

War and Eschatology

Any conflict, especially a military conflict, needs a clear rationale for why it occurs. Usually, this question should be answered by official representatives of the state. However, the situation in Russia after the beginning of the armed conflict with Ukraine is gradually beginning to be explained in religious terms. This language has moved beyond the…

Continue reading
Kremlin Notes in the Patriarch’s Christmas Appeal
Religion and Conflict, Religion and Politics

Kremlin Notes in the Patriarch’s Christmas Appeal

This year, on Christmas Eve, Patriarch Kirill wrote the shortest text in the fourteen years of his patriarchate: the appeal for a Christmas truce. This document might well have become a masterpiece of the anti-war, peacemaking stance of the Russian Orthodox Church. However, it turned out quite differently. The appeal for a ceasefire is yet…

Continue reading
War and Appeals to Magical Consciousness
Religion and Conflict

War and Appeals to Magical Consciousness

As was noted many times, the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine is ideologically framed by a quasi-religious doctrine that promotes Russian civilizational exceptionalism and has been branded as the “Russian world.” This doctrine is not the only quasi-religious aspect of the war. Those who endorse the war try to justify it by bringing up a…

Continue reading
Six Months Later: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church Still at the Crossroads
Inter-Orthodox Relations

Six Months Later: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church Still at the Crossroads

In late May 2022, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) held a local council to announce independence from the Moscow Patriarchate. But six months since, it is still being determined what that independence means. Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv commemorates heads of other churches in the way only primates of autocephalous churches do. Still, it doesn’t seem…

Continue reading
Ukraine: A New Legal Framework for the UOC?
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and Politics

Ukraine: A New Legal Framework for the UOC?

“We will never allow anyone to build an empire inside the Ukrainian soul,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, on December 1, 2022, stated in reference to the need to ensure the spiritual independence of the country. He signed the decree with measures to counter religious organizations and figures affiliated with the aggressor state: the Russian…

Continue reading
Which Orthodox Church in Ukraine is the Largest?
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Which Orthodox Church in Ukraine is the Largest?

From the moment the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was granted autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarch early in 2019, it has competed with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) not only over canonicity but also about the number of parishes and the number of faithful. Each claims to be the only canonical church in the country,…

Continue reading
Four Months Later:  The Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s New Modus Vivendi
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Four Months Later:  The Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s New Modus Vivendi

Four months ago, a UOC (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) Council in the Feofaniya monastery in Kyiv introduced fundamental changes into the Church’s statutes. That Council has already become a historic event—with possible implications for world Orthodoxy. But properly understanding the logic of its decisions means understanding what happened in the UOC after the Russian army’s full-scale…

Continue reading
1 2 3
Disclaimer

Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

Attribution

Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University