‘Ukraine Orthodox Church granted independence from Russian Church’

Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill


Well, the rift brewing in the Eastern Orthodox world was just made official. Notice two following reports:

Ukraine Orthodox Church granted independence from Russian Church

5 January 2019

The recently formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been granted independence, marking a historic split from the Russian Church.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew – the head of the global Orthodox Church – has signed a document in Istanbul, Turkey, to that effect.

It formalises an October announcement.

The move has provoked a furious response in Russia, where the Church has broken off links, deepening a split in the worldwide Orthodox Church.

Ukraine’s churches have for centuries been under the authority of the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow.

The decision may also lead to a lasting schism in the global Orthodox movement, says the BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Kiev, Ukraine. …

Earlier this year, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople overruled its decision dating back to 1686 to transfer its jurisdiction over Kievan Orthodox churches (known as the Kievan Metropolis) to Moscow.

Now Moscow fears losing many of its 12,000 parishes in Ukraine. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46768270

ISTANBUL (AP) — An independent Ukrainian Orthodox church was created at a signing ceremony in Turkey on Saturday, formalizing a split with the Russian church it had been tied to since 1686.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, signed the “Tomos” in Istanbul in front of clerics and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, forming the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

It forces Ukrainian clerics to pick sides between the Moscow-backed Ukrainian churches and the new church as fighting persists in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russia-backed rebels. …

“The pious Ukrainian people have awaited this blessed day for seven entire centuries,” Bartholomew I said in his address.

The patriarch, considered “first among equals” in Orthodox Christianity, said Ukrainians could now enjoy “the sacred gift of emancipation, independence and self-governance, becoming free from every external reliance and intervention.”

Poroshenko thanked Bartholomew I “for the courage to make this historic decision” and said that “among the 15 stars of the Orthodox churches of the world a Ukrainian star has appeared,” referring to the updated number of churches that don’t answer to an external authority. https://www.apnews.com/d423817b8e2048d581cf7916401aa58f

It should be mentioned that, most of the Eastern Orthodox are actually Russian Orthodox. Yet, as one of the articles above states, the Patriarch of Constantinople has long been considered the “first among equals” in the Eastern Orthodox world. The current Patriarch Bartholomew has accepted an ecumenical agenda that many of the Greek Orthodox do not like (for details, see Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants))–and now he has upset many of the Russian Orthodox.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has long maintained a close working relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church and has not been pleased with this.

Nor are various Russian Orthodox leaders:

5 January 2019

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s media relations, Vladimir Legoida, dismissed the Istanbul decree-signing ceremony. It “is just a paper, the result of restless political and personal ambitions. It was signed in breach of canonicity and this is why it has no power,” he said in a Telegram message, according to Reuters news agency.

The Patriarchate of Moscow has more followers than the Patriarchate of Constantinople and has challenged it for authority in the past. https://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-orthodox-church-gains-independence-from-russia/a-46967171

Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill … also expressed confusion about Constantinople’s decision to recognize breakaway Ukrainian churches that had previously been viewed as non-canonical, despite the fact that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had been subordinate to the Russian Church since 1686. He termed Constantinople’s decision “politicized.”

“I can only express regret that your decisions, which are destructive for general church unity, depend so much on ‘external,’ that is, on political conditions, which you are not shy to admit,” Kirill said.

The Russian Patriarch also warned Constantinople that the Russian Orthodox Church will no longer recognize it as the top authority in the Orthodox world. And he threatened Constantinople with divine retribution if it gives the Ukrainian church independence.

“And the sufferings of Orthodox Ukrainians caused by you will follow you until Judgment’s Day… (where) they will testify against you before (God).”

Until recently, Ukraine had three Orthodox Churches. Two were considered non-canonical, while the third was subordinate to Moscow. However, in October, Constantinople recognized the two non-canonical churches. Once it gives them the tomos in January, they will be able to form the unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine. 12/31/18 https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/russian-patriarch-kirill-urges-constantinople-to-derail-independence-of-ukrainian-orthodox-church.html

Moscow (AsiaNews) – Moscow Patriarch Kirill (Gundjaev) has delivered an ultimatum to the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew (Archontonis), in response to the latter’s communication on the recognition of the new autocephalous Ukrainian Church: if he does not reverse the decision taken in Ukraine, he can no longer be considered the “ecumenical patriarch” of all universal Orthodoxy. The harsh words are contained in a letter that Kirill sent to Constantinople on December 30th. 01/02/19 http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Kirill:-Bartholomew-no-longer-the-ecumenical-patriarch-of-all-Orthodoxy-45858.html

“You will lose forever the possibility of serving the unity of the holy Churches of God and you will stop being the Primate of the Orthodox world – says the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to his Greek counterpart.

Despite warnings from Patriarch Kirill, Patriarch Bartholomew signed a document recognizing Ukrainian church independence from Russia.

So, the schism was made even more official today.

Related to the schism. the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


In 2018, after an appeal by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko a growing rift between the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople (Bartholomew) and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (Kirill) became a schism. When Constantinople declared that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was granted ”autocephaly” (independence), the Russian Orthodox declared this was a schism and broke off Eucharistic communion with Constantinople. Like the ‘great schism of 1054,’ many see this schism as primarily political and not theological. Will this rift possibly be repaired? If so, will ecumenical unity be temporal? Who is mystery Babylon? Will Russia support the Beast of Revelation 13 and later be a leader in destroying end time Babylon? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more, plus provides additional historical information.

Here is a link to the sermonette video: Orthodox Schisms: What Will Happen?

There may be many ramifications of this schism between Russia and Ukraine.

The Russian people basically support Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill on Ukraine, so they would tend to be willing to accept ties being cut with Constantinople over it taking jurisdiction over Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin has been considered the “defender of the faith” (see also Vladimir Putin is seen as defender of the Russian Orthodox faith) and he has made statements that suggest he believes that he is.

Both the Patriarch of Russia and the Patriarch of Constantinople believe they can point to historical reasons why Ukraine should be under their patriarchy (see https://www.dw.com/en/politics-powers-and-struggle-over-ukraines-orthodox-church/a-45325235). So, both sides basically can claim history supports their view.

Perhaps I should mention that both Patriarchs Bartholomew and Kirill have a decent relationship with the ecumenical Pope Francis.

Despite this schism future biblical prophecies (e.g. Revelation 13) indicate, for a time, the Russian Orthodox will go along with some of Constantinople’s ecumenical plans. But I also believe, based on prophecies such as in Jeremiah 50, that the Russians and the Russian Orthodox will one day turn against the Beast power that will arise in Europe.

The announcement by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, in my view, is establishing a precedent for the future when Russia and various of its allies will turn against the rising Babylonian Beast in Europe.

Bible prophecy shows that Russia will lead a massive empire in the time of the end (Jeremiah 50:9,11,41-43; Isaiah 13:1, 17-19). Russia is also developing more powerful weapons (see Donald Trump to cancel intermediate-range nuclear treaty–Russia issues warning and US confirms Russia’s ‘Kanyon’ torpedo–The Doomsday Weapon–could devastate the east and west coasts of the USA).

Perhaps it should be mentioned that the Bible shows that the USA and its closest allies will fall, but not by Russia (cf. Daniel 11:39; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses).

Russia has a prophesied place as a military power–ultimately it will help defeat the Beast power in Europe that will arise and one day takeover the world (Jeremiah 50:9,11,41-43; Isaiah 13:1, 17-19; cf. Daniel 11:44).

For a time, Russia will likely have a treaty with Europe (cf. Revelation 13:3-4.8 and Ezekiel 27:13-14)–but this will not last (cf. Daniel 11:44). Ultimately, the Bible shows that a Russian-influenced coalition will destroy much of Europe (Jeremiah 50 & 51). However, that will not happen until towards the end of the ‘Day of the Lord.’ An event well over seven years in the future from now (see When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? The ‘Day of the Lord’?).

The current rift between Kirill and Bartholomew will not mean that Constantinople and Russia will not cooperate ecumenically in the future–Constantinople and Russia will, no matter what happens in the near term.

But that cooperation will not last.

The warning that the Russian Orthodox would no longer recognize Constantinople is proof that that church will be willing to do so in the future. And that is something I have long expected.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Russia and Ukraine: Their Origins and Prophesied Future Russia in prophecy. Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end? There is also a video sermon available: Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy and a video sermonette available: Ukraine in Prophecy?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fulfilled? A related video is available titled Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now?
The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Is one being formed right now? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? If some type of Eurasian union is formed, who might it benefit and who will it destroy? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.

Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Another video is: watch Is China paving roads to Armageddon?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Mystery of Iniquity What is the mystery of iniquity? How did it start? How will it end? Two related sermons are also available: The Mystery of Iniquity and The Mystery of Lawlessness.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’? On September 7, 2016, Olav Fykse Tveit, Church of Norway Pastor, and the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, essentially declared that those who ignore ‘climate change’ are committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ and the Holy Spirit. Are those two even related? In this video, Dr. Thiel answers that and explains from the Bible what the ‘unpardonable sin’ is and how you can avoid it. He also discusses aspects of Christianity and the environment. This is a video.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?

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