In western Ukraine the main religion uses Orthodox ritual but is affiliated to the Roman Church. That is, their bishops and priests are appointed by the Pope.

The origin is that this area was ruled by Poland-Lithuania . The Orthodox tend to oppose the Uniates. Stalin transferred the churches to the control of the Ukrainian Orthodox (which itself came under the control of the Moskva patriarchate). After independence the Uniates have recovered their churches, and the formerly underground Ukrainian Orthodox church has recovered its churches from the Russian Orthodox. The result is a good deal of religious scuffling and dispute. Western Ukraine may threaten to secede from the Orthodox half - or the eastern Russian-speaking - part may wish to secede from a westernising government after the events of January 2005. Other Uniate churches can be found in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.

Last revised 1/09/09


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