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Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate

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Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate
Ukrainian Orthodox Church emblem.png

St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev.jpg
Founder Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko)
Independence 1992
Recognition Unrecognized by the majority canonical Orthodox churches
Primate Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko)
Headquarters Kyiv, Ukraine
Territory Ukraine
Language Ukrainian, Church Slavonic
Members See adherents
Website Ukrainian Orthodox Church

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP; Ukrainian: Украї́нська Правосла́вна Це́рква – Ки́ївський Патріарха́т (УПЦ-КП), translit. Ukrayínsʹka Pravoslávna Tsérkva – Kýyivsʹkyy Patriarkhát (UPTs-KP)) is one of the three major Orthodox churches in Ukraine, alongside the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (which is a part of the Russian Orthodox Church), and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).[1][2]

The Kiev Patriarchate remains unrecognised by the majority of canonical Eastern Orthodox churches and is regarded as a "schismatic grouping" by the Moscow Patriarchate.[3] Nevertheless Bartholomew—the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople—speaking to the convocation of the bishops of his church in Istanbul in early September 2018, indicated that the Church of Constantinople does not recognise the Moscow Patriarchate's claim to ecclesiastical jurisdiction over "the region of today's Metropolis of Kiev".[4]

The St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev is the patriarchal cathedral of the UOC-KP. The primate of the church is Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko), who was enthroned in 1995. Filaret (Denysenko) was excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1997,[5] but the Synod and Sobor of the UOC-KP do not recognize this action.

Following the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople of 9–11 October 2018 Filaret (Denysenko) was canonically reinstated and the decision was made to proceed with the granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate.[6] As a consequence, the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church are planning to merge with pro-independence bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate into an independent (autocephalous) Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is expected to receive a tomos—an ecclesiastical decree on autocephaly by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.[7][8][9][10]


The Kiev Patriarchate deems itself to be a fully independent ecclesiastical body, i.e. an autocephalous church,[11] a successor church to the Metropolis of Kiev and all Rus',[11] which existed under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until 1686, when it was incorporated into the Russian Orthodox Church (the Moscow Patriarchate).

The current church organization was established in June 1992. Its first primate, albeit nominally, was an émigré Ukrainian religious figure, Mstyslav (Skrypnyk), the then primate of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. While Metropolitan Filaret (Denysenko), had from the start been the driving force of the Kiev Patriarchate, it was not until after the sudden death of Patriarch Volodymyr (Romaniuk) in July 1995 that Filaret was elected the Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine in October 1995. Filaret (Denysenko) had by then been defrocked by the Moscow Patriarchate in which he had been ordained and served as bishop since February 1962 until spring 1992. In February 1997, Filaret was excommunicated by the Moscow Patriarchate.

Following the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea 38 out of 46 of the church's parishes in Crimea ceased to exist; in three cases, churches were seized by the Russian authorities.[12]

The Kiev Patriarchate remains unrecognised by the Moscow Patriarchate, which views it as schismatic, as well as by other canonical Orthodox churches in the world. Nevertheless, since April 2018 the Ecumenical Patriarchate looked into the request of the Ukrainian Parliament to grant canonical status to the UOC-KP in Ukraine.[6][2] On 11 October 2018 the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced its intent to grant autocephaly to a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church; it also lifted the anathema against the leaders of the Kiev Patriarchate and UAOC.[10][8] On 16 October 2018 the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognised all clergy of the Kiev Patriarchate and UAOC as canonical.[7][13][14]


The Kiev Patriarchate has 44% of the faithful as compared to the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate 12.8%. So although the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (UOC-MP) has twice as many parishes, the UOC-KP has 3 times as many faithful. The former has 38% of all Orthodox and 25% of the population as of 2016 while the Russian Orthodox have 23% and 15% respectively. The UOC-KP has 34 dioceses in Ukraine and abroad. The church has over 5100 parishes in Ukraine. They have a Vicariate in the United States which consists of 15 parishes. They also have 6 parishes in Australia and over 40 in Western Europe. The negative influence the Russian government allegedly has over the Moscow Patriarchate and claims it is using it as a "tool of influence over Ukraine” led to the April 2018 renewed drive of the recognition of an independent Ukrainian Orthodox church which Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claimed would help "eliminate internal strife and conflicts within the state."[2][15]

UOC-KP adherents in Ukraine, excluding Crimea and breakaway parts of Donbass:

Date Proportion Ref
May–June 2016 33% [16]
June-July 2017 44% [17]
May-June 2018 36% [18]

Primates of the Church

After being dismissed in 1992 by the Archhierarch Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian Metropolitan Filaret created the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC–KP) under Patriarch Mstyslav of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).

  • Patriarch Mstyslav (Stepan Ivanovych Skrypnyk), Patriarch of Kiev and all Rus’-Ukraine and primate of both the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC–KP) (1991–1993)

After Patriarch Mstyslav died in 1993, the temporary union ended and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church separated. The primates of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church–Kiev Patriarchate continued to carry the title of patriarch.



Exarchates and Vicariates

  • Exarchate in Greece
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Vicarate of the UOC-KP in the USA and Canada
  • Vicariate in Australia
  • European Exarchate
  • Russian Exarchate

See also


  1. ^ "Ukraine". The CIA World Factbook. According to the CIA World Factbook, 19% of the Ukrainian population associated themselves with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate (cf. Orthodox (no particular jurisdiction) 16%, Ukrainian Orthodox – Moscow Patriarchate 9%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 6%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 1.7%).
  2. ^ a b c COYLE, JAMES J. (April 24, 2018). "Ukraine May Be Getting Its Own Church, but Not as Fast as Poroshenko Thinks". Atlantic Council. According to the Razumkov Center, among the 27.8 million Ukrainian members of Orthodox churches, allegiance to the Kyiv Patriarchate has grown from 12 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2016. Much of the growth has come from believers who previously did not associate with either patriarchate.
  3. ^ РПЦ: вмешательство Константинополя в ситуацию на Украине может породить новые расколы: Митрополит Волоколамский Иларион завил, что Русская православная церковь представит доказательства неправомерности притязаний Константинополя на Украину (the interview by the ROC's Metroplitan Hilarion (Alfeyev)) TASS, 1 September 2018.
  4. ^ Synaxis of Hierarchs of The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ a b Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (11 October 2018). "Announcement (11/10/2018)". Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Oleg Petrasiuk (14 October 2018). "Ukraine thanks Ecumenical Patriarchate for supporting independence of Ukrainian Orthodox Church". KyivPost. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "The Ecumenical Synod lifted the anathema on the leaders of the UOC-KP and the UAOC | The Koz Times". Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  9. ^ "Announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople". Ecumenical Patriarchate. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Ecumenical Patriarchate To Recognize Ukrainian Church's Autocephaly Despite Moscow's Disagreement | Greek Reporter Europe". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  12. ^ Russia seeks to crush Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Crimea for helping resist Russification, UNIAN (11 October 2018)
  13. ^ "Constantinople recognized all clergy of KP and UAOC as canonical—Patriarchal Exarch". OrthoChristian.Com. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  14. ^ "Константинополь признал каноничным весь клир УПЦ КП и УАПЦ, – экзарх Фанара". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  15. ^ Daniel, McLaughlin (24 April 2018). "Ukraine seeks church independence to bolster stand against Russia". Irish Times.
    "Ukrainian Lawmakers Back President's Move To Obtain Autocephalous Status For Orthodox Church". Radio Free Europe. 19 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Public Opinion Survey: Residents of Ukraine May 28–June 14, 2016" (PDF). International Republican Institute. 8 July 2016. p. 62.
  17. ^ "Public Opinion Survey of Residents of Ukraine June 9 – July 7, 2017" (PDF). 22 August 2017. p. 77. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Public Opinion Survey: Residents of Ukraine May 26 – June 10, 2018" (PDF). International Republican Institute. 2018. p. 85.

External links