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The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is trying to withdraw from Moscow’s control. The Kremlin is not happy.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople left and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill tour the Kremlin in May 2010jpgOn Oct. 11, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople — the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide  — started a process to grant independence to a Ukrainian Orthodox Church seated in Kiev, freeing it from

the control of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. The decision has touched off an intense political storm, and threatens to open a new — and possibly violent — front in the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Here’s why.

A brief primer on the Orthodox Church
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