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Ukrainian church appoint leader in next stage of independence

by Cara Bentley

There has been a clash between the Orthodox Church in Moscow and the branch in Kiev over who the Ukrainians take authority from - with Moscow wanting to remain their spiritual heads and many Ukrainians desiring independence.

Now the Ukrainians have installed Metorpolitan Epifaniy, 40, as their primate after he was elected in December 2018.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I (the de facto leader of the global Orthodox church) formally recognised Ukraine's autocephalos - or independence - in January, paving the way for them to establish separate leaderships.

The service took place at St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev on Sunday, attended by the Polish President Poroshenko, who has also approved the country's separation from the Mosow Patriachate, saying in December that the Russian affiliated church in Ukraine should change their name to reflect its links with Russia. 

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