Ukrainian Orthodox Church

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Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
Founder(s) Apostle Andrew; St. Vladimir of Kiev
Autocephaly/Autonomy declared 1990
Autocephaly/Autonomy recognized 1990 by Church of Russia
Current primate Metr. Onuphrius
Headquarters Kiev, Ukraine
Primary territory Ukraine
Possessions abroad N/A
Liturgical language(s) Church Slavonic, & Ukrainian
Musical tradition Kievan Chant
Calendar Julian
Population estimate 8,000,000 [1]
Official website UOC

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an autonomous Orthodox church whose primate is confirmed by the Russian Orthodox Church. Its current primate is His Beatitude Onufriy (Berezovkyi), Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, who resides at the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, which is the heartbeat of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. Its autonomy is currently not recognized in international Orthodox gatherings.


The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was founded through the introduction of Christianity into Kievan Rus' with the baptism of Prince St. Vladimir of Kiev and his people in 988, known as the Baptism of Rus'. Until the late 17th century it formed the Metropolis of Kyiv under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In 1686, Kyiv was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church by a synodical letter of Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysius, which maintained that the metropolitan of Kyiv shall continue commemorating the Patriarch of Constantinople, followed by the Patriarch of Moscow. Through the centuries, this condition fell in disuse and the Metropolis of Kyiv came to be treated as an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On 28 October 1990,[1] the Moscow Patriarchate granted the Ukrainian Exarchate a status of a self–governing church under the jurisdiction of the ROC (but not the full autonomy as is understood in the ROC legal terminology).

Following Ukraine's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on 24 August 1991, a national sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was held on November 1–3.[2] At the sobor, the bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church together with other clergy and lay delegates unanimously passed a resolution stating that henceforth the UOC would operate as an autocephalous church.[2]. Filaret Denysenko, who had been the Metropolitan of Kyiv since 1968, was unaminously elected the acting primate of the new Church.

In January 1992 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church submitted a request of autocephaly to the Moscow Patriarch.[3][4]. Moscow responded by asking Filaret to resign and organized a rival synod which met in Kharkiv in May 1992 and replaced Filaret with Bishop Volodymyr (Sabodan)[5]. Ultimately, the Russian Orthodox Church suspended, defrocked and anathematized Filaret.

Under Metropolitan Volodymyr, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church persisted and retained jurisdictional control of most churches and monasteries in Ukraine, while new schismatic entities were formed. For 26 years it was universally considered the only canonical church of Ukraine.

In 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarchate overrode the previous judgment of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding Filaret and other schismatic leaders and restored them to their hierarchical dignity, while at the same time it annulled the 1686 authorization letter and reclaimed its canonical jurisdiction over Ukraine. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (except for two bishops who were consequently disciplined) refused to participate to the Unification Council convoked by Patriarch Bartholomew on 15 December 2018 and has since denied to accept the Tomos of Autocephaly granted to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine that was formed by the Unification council.

As of 1 January 2018 there were 12,064 congregations under Moscow Patriarchate jurisdiction, 5,855 independent congregations that were in October accepted into Ecumenical Patriarchate, 200 non-canonical Orthodox congregations, and 3,765 Greek Catholic congregations[6]. Still, only 13.3% of the Ukrainian population considered itself a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2016[7].

Currently, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is in full communion with the Church of Russia, considers the acts of the Patriarchate of Constantinople as illegitimate and treats the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as schismatic.


  • Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine
  • Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa and Izmail
  • Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea
  • Metropolitan Mark of Khust and Vynohradiv
  • Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol
  • Metropolitan Theodore of Kamianets-Podilskyi and Horodok
  • Metropolitan Meletius of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna
  • Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary
  • Metropolitan Plate of Feodosia and Kerch
  • Metropolitan Irinej of Dnepropretrovsk and Pavlograd
  • Metropolitan Ionafan of Tulchyn and Bratslav
  • Metropolitan Serhiy of Ternopil and Kremenets
  • Metropolitan Anthony of Khmelnytsky and Starokonstantinovsky
  • Metropolitan Vissarion of Ovruch and Korosten
  • Metropolitan Pitirim of Mykolayiv and Ochakiv
  • Metropolitan Augustine of Bila Tserkva and Boguslav
  • Metropolitan Anatoliy of Polissya and Sarny
  • Metropolitan Seraphim of Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyia
  • Metropolitan Ephraim of Kryvyi Rih and Nikopol
  • Metropolitan John of Kherson and Tavria
  • Metropolitan Ambrose of Chernihiv and Novgorod-Siversky
  • Metropolitan Agapit of Mogilev-Podolsky and Shargorod
  • Metropolitan Onufriy of Kharkiv and Bohodukhiv
  • Metropolitan Philip of Poltava and Myrhorod
  • Metropolitan Luka of Zaporizhia and Melitopol
  • Metropolitan Oleksiy of Baltic and Ananyiv
  • Metropolitan Mitrofan of Horlivka and Slavonia
  • Metropolitan Elisha of Izyum and Kupyansk
  • Metropolitan Nikodim of Zhytomyr and Novograd-Volyn
  • Metropolitan Volodymy of Volodymyr-Volynskyi and Kovelskyi
  • Metropolitan Panteleimon of Uman and Zvenigorod
  • Metropolitan Evlogiy of Sumy and Okhtyrka
  • Metropolitan Joasaph of Kirovohrad and Novomyrhorod
  • Metropolitan Theodore of Mukachevo and Uzhgorod
  • Metropolitan Panteleimon of Luhansk and Alchevsk
  • Metropolitan Joseph of Rome and Burina
  • Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kamyansk and Tsarychansky
  • Metropolitan Nikodim of Severodonetsk and Starobilsk
  • Metropolitan Filaret of Lviv and Halych
  • Metropolitan Theodosius of Cherkasy and Kaniv
  • Metropolitan Filaret oF Novokakhovka and Henichesk
  • Metropolitan Nicholas of Kremenchug and Lubny
  • Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn and Pryluky
  • Metropolitan Varsonofy of Vinnytsia and Bar
  • Archbishop Roman of Konotop and Hlukhiv
  • Archbishop Arkady of Rovenkiv and Sverdlovsk
  • Archbishop Ephraim of Berdyansk and Primorsky
  • Archbishop Olkesiy of Voznesen and Pervoma
  • Arcbbishop Bogolep of Alexandria and Svitlovodsk
  • Archbishop Eusebius of Shepetivka and Slavutych
  • Archbishop Nathanael of Volyn and Lutsk
  • Bishop Pimen of Rivne and Ostroh
  • Bishop Oleksiy of Dzhanko and Rozdolen


See also

External links

Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Orthodoxy
Autocephalous Churches
Four Ancient Patriarchates: Constantinople · Alexandria · Antioch · Jerusalem
Russia · Serbia · Romania · Bulgaria · Georgia · Cyprus · Greece · Poland · Albania · Czech Lands and Slovakia · OCA* · Ukraine*
Autonomous Churches
Sinai · Finland · Estonia* · Japan* · China* · Ukraine*
The * designates a church whose autocephaly or autonomy is not universally recognized.