Wednesday, December 21, 2022

A Change of Christmas Day - in Orthodox Ukraine

Ukraine has two Eastern Orthodox churches. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church(UOC). The newer Orthodox Church of Ukraine broke off from the UOC in 2018 because the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was subservient to the Russian Orthodox Church. The UOC not only followed the Russian traditions, but fully argued for Russian control of Ukraine.

Despite a protest from the Russia Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, granted ecclesiastical independence to the new OCU.

Even before the attack by Russia, about a third of Ukrainians wanted to move to the western calendar. After the invasion, the move was seen as a tie to the west, and a break from Russia.

The new OCU has stated this is NOT a cancelation of the January 7th Orthodox Christmas, but only a new day of worship if people want. The church will reevaluate if they want to fully move off the Gregorian calendar if the December 25th Christmas is popular with worshipers.

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