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Moscow Calls Independent Ukrainian Church US-Backed 'Provocation'

Russia's top diplomat on Friday called the Ecumenical Patriarchate's decision to recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's independence from Moscow a Washington-backed "provocation," from which he vowed to protect "the faithful" in Ukraine if the schism sparks violence. On Thursday, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the Istanbul-based head of global Orthodox Christianity, recognized Ukrainian churches as independent from the Russian Orthodox Church,...

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