tv NEWS LIVE - 30 Al Jazeera January 8, 2019 6:00am-6:34am +03
the document for the separation also known as the thomas was officially handed over to the leader of the now independent ukrainian orthodox churches mostly watching from the side petro poroshenko the ukrainian president he's pushed for ukraine's orthodox churches to split from what he and others have described as russian influence and propaganda ukraine's churches have been under pressure to sever ties since the country became independent after the breakup of the soviet union in one thousand nine hundred ninety one. and that pressure has been getting stronger since russia annexed crimea in two thousand and fourteen ukraine imposed martial law in november saying it feared a full scale invasion after russia captured three of its vessels in the current strait the muslim the us says if a fish the ship and the toll most for us is actually another act of proclaiming ukraine's independence it will complete the assertion of independence of the ukrainian state strengthen religious freedom and enter confessional peace it will strengthen the rights and freedoms of citizens. in moscow political analysts say
this is as much about politics as it is about religion and the impact of a church split the on religious bit on the bus and the crane is working in zero four but both the positions of moscow but adequate in in ukraine and. the long awaited on the independence of fulfill could end orthodoxy and over ukrainian states from russian influence in general of the call to the split has been largely boycotted by ukraine's largest orthodox church which remains loyal to russia oh moscow in the russian branch of the church have also cut ties with istanbul which is regarded as the center of the eastern orthodox faith it's unclear how all this will ultimately play out but for many in ukraine the creation of an orthodox church independent from moscow is a momentous step toward ukraine's political independence from russia. moscow.
well let's take a closer look at the eastern orthodox church now it's one of the oldest religious institutions and second largest after the roman catholic church it has more than two hundred fifty million members around the world most of whom live in eastern europe greece the caucasus and parts of the middle east and africa orthodox churches a self-governed but the patriarch of constantinople based as the ball is that spiritual leader. well let's bring in our guests now joining us from kiev as valentini yaku schick professor of political science at the national university of kiev academy in london is there then professor of sociology of religion and department head of theology and religious studies at king's college london and joining us and scott from moscow is alexander bridges senior foreign policy at gazeta dot argue that's a russian newspaper a very warm welcome to all of you let me start with mr bush there and london are we
seeing the biggest schism in christianity in the hundreds if not the cells and he is. it's obviously not the biggest schism in christan it's a more although i would be very careful about using the word schism because it has very kind of derogatory connotations within the orthodox in christan is in general you know it means god of the oil always hubris if you like it's it's about. all the. national churches in within the orthodox tradition have a degree of independence and this is how they actually have co-existed for four years so i hope the current situation will not lead to this bleed but eventually to the more kind of balance within within eastern orthodox mistake why do you think that the patriarch in constantinople is granting autonomy to ukraine and how much
of patriarch bartholomew decision is based on religion and how much of it as political. well it is a political definitely a political step the wrists not much of religion according to canonical traditions or economical pottery ark couldn't have broken the green mint or three hundred and thirty and something else years old or and dispossess russian butter kate of it's legal right to operate in ukraine but it was done it's political step and it's a logical because a communicable butter cape from istanbul was approached many times by ukrainian political leaders who wanted to add to ukrainian political independence also some
signs of being separate from russian church with the center in moscow as political step it leads to two or most important results one that that part of ukrainian author of a doctor shortage was split from ukraine in one thousand nine hundred ninety two now becomes canonical so it means that all their read leaders services have value from the really just point of view before when the ukrainian to split away churches were not under the ages of if you medical petrarch ate all what they were doing it was questioned by many christians here if there is a real leader just the little so this is one important issue that further services all of these two ukrainian. churches which united now will have
value according to the league just standards but in or in other aspect it leaves this decision of if you medical party. from istanbul leads to splits political split in the world orthodox christianity now his step was not supported by any other church maybe it will be supported by dialogue g. and oral by. or maybe bible garia but the rest are not supporting it instinct that it is an invasion on russian orthodox church canonical territory and we have these two results and one that you know of and could that lead you know to what i referred to as a schism earlier the fact that the orthodox church which has you know of some three hundred million followers the russians have said that they are going to break off relations with constantinople because of this decision mr brashness k.
how would the other orthodox church is going to going to deal with this decision do they feel any pressure to align themselves with either constantinople or with moscow. of course the situation new is very difficult for now to decide i think actually all will depend from father curiel the head of a russian orthodox josh diplomacy is very complicated figure very connected do a lot of good in the present russia but also south by a very powerful player so all will depend on his diplomacy how he will deal with those countries of course you will be of course consulted with your church diplomats because it's very bored you we have russian orthodox schorsch with demolition relationship with the churches let's say of syria which is an ally of russia with a bulgarian which is e.u. country greece which is very close to russia historically and religiously it will be a very big bull not to go or georgian south also but to the russian state so i think
for him it's now it's now the time to craft a very you know a very you know shy diplomacy by should work for those countries other slice this position will be weakened when he is already working and we've heard from him already and he has not being diplomatic he sent constantinople as patriotic a thought of me a very hostile he would lead to saying things like you will for avenues the possibility of saving the unity of god's holy churches you'll say still be dishonest in the orthodox well and the suffering you cools so also talks ukrainians will follow you to the last judgment mistake and as this damaging and divisive christianity. in fact we can see this we can observe with probably a lot of concern this inflammatory rhetoric from from both sides and i can get understand why it's a huge blow it's a huge challenge for the russian orthodox church which has about probably between
thirty to thirty five percent of all the spare issues in ukraine and for a number of diplomatic reasons which my my my my colleagues have just identified. also it's a big problem obviously it challenge now for the ukrainian church and for the ukrainian state you know how it will go about where all the only at the beginning of creating this new church and this shirt and the ukrainian state will have to deal with a number of challenges so i understand this rhetoric in particular if we take account of the geopolitical context but i do hope that behind this rhetoric there is a kind of realisation that we need to take care of the ordinary people ordinary believe us all of the political implications of this and that's my hope that might result actually in. this relationship between the
ukrainian orthodox church the independent church and the moscow but very kate and all the ramifications for the orthodox church as a whole there would diplomacy that alexander has just used will be key to the situation messy accuracy of we've got ukraine's security service at the moment investigating interrogating even priests who are loyal to the russian orthodoxy i know that our other guests are talking about diplomacy but if we look at what's happening on the ground is this going to provoke russia how much is this going to provoke russia do you think. well you see if you create a new security service is doing something to pressure on the clergy they're not doing it very seriously because they know that in three months time there will be election elections and they cannot fully support the illegal and the
constitutional intervention into really just affairs so please don't be afraid of something very serious happen it's more political game on the ukrainian establishment as well as politicians are using religious matters as a tool in the elections the same is with the security service and i would say that for you probably the audience the international audience would be interesting to know what it means in your own context what is happening in ukraine it's as if in america there is the unification of those these christians who support mr and on the other side those who support mrs clinton and democrats and if american government would act on one side or establishment on in supporting one part or another part of these divided politically divided nations ukrainian authorities
have chosen this way of supporting one part of our culturally and politically divided society and what is interesting that among initiators of this support of the governmental governmental support of reunification of two churches which were not considered to be canonical and which became not canonical but are many jews there are many more saloons and they are catholics and greek catholics so you can i think imagine what kind of process it is i'm sure that after the elections this kind of political game will be settled and religious matters will be left for the league just be. political matters will be just for parties not driving churches know several georges act as political parties it side ukraine and world wide and that is and that is why ukrainian authorities have been
and not just authorities but actually the ukrainian churches have been asking for autonomy because they say that you know the moscow back churches in ukraine are kremlin to to spread propaganda and that they're even you know supporting fighters in the east in the conflict that's killed more than ten thousand people is there any truth to that mr burgess case. well i would say partly that might be as from true but i don't think so i'm going to charge her official charge people on the ground the simple breeze are they are loyal to ukrainian georgian on the they don't want a russian charge are actually you know doing something like that they're actually doing be concerned about what there will be nothing of the people were actually working because unfortunately in russia there is always an image of this you know guy even in ukraine as well the guy who drives a luxury car satis and has golden golden stuff on him there's a priest there also a lot of ordinary priest will also work hard for their own people so they are not really interested in political games i can tell was something today i was in the
church and like our father of all public tour he was very calm he did not mention anything bad he just say we pray for all christians so i think the position the composition of those people the people on the ground are not connected to an abortion and they are old political games and they are actually i think they are doing whatever they can for what they say go through the humor that goes i'm fortunate we are going to a relationship between ukraine and russia are in very bad shape that christianity and the unity or well of our religion is only the one thing which unites us mrs stan as we've been hearing there is a very important election coming up in ukraine and with had president petro poroshenko you know in constantinople for this decision by the by the patriotic is this going to be do you think how much is this you know a newfound autonomy going to boost president petro poroshenko as he faces this election battle. i'm not expert on politics
but obviously i know what it was some think about it and then relatives in ukraine actually i am in moscow as well i'm following the situation well what i want to make a general point general conant on what we have just heard. the establishment of independent churches have has always been a political process in his state has always been the case but country to separate religion and politics in the east in this particular case and obviously president poroshenko like probably any other president in a country where you've got the clear sort of dominant religious tradition such as orthodoxy would use you know the situation for for political gains this is not to justify or criticize this is just got a very old politics politic if you like and obviously he is going to use his success in securing this thomas from the ecumenical but there are
he probably even downplay some of the aspects of this storm as it's quite an interesting actually document reach among other things it limits the ortho to see all the new church for example in five in parishes abroad or on that they found it also limits its authority to see in the title of the head of the church it's supposed to be. a myth properly it's a metropolitan not not the part the ark is quite in it is interesting development so partition is going probably to play down those aspects but there is no doubt that he's going to use it and the the political forces behind it quite understandably they will going to use it to their advantage in the election and there's also you know going forward now there's the sort of. what happens to the churches in ukraine the distribution of property of the church and. and we've had
some very serious words from president putin actually who's been warning that any redistribution of church property could result in a heavy dispute if not bloodshed mr how do you see this playing out can this be settled in a way that won't involve violence. so first of all i should mention that it's not about it told me of ukrainian church it to ukrainian church was all of us autonomy's and ukrainian church which is in connection with russian but there kate has worn out what ornaments rights did the church which now goes under the auspices of constantinople so this is first issue it's about splitting from russia official policy in all possible spheres of state and no it commendable petrarch wants to get hundreds of churches in ukraine
as a gift and definitely this is a very big. one a lot of big victory for him but we will see how ukrainian even empty russian clardy men how they will react they are already looking at city churches which they lose at something which they should have kept for themselves and then a couple of months time we will see a lot of discontent on the part of ukrainian clarges who now cipel rated from russia fish surely they are not happy with the control from istanbul in the ne different areas so ok churches in one issue others the autonomy real autonomy now mr poroshenko reached the legitimize zation of split away churches but he cannot reach the result of destroying that part of
the church which is in connection with russia at least once third of ukrainians will continue to be loyal to their brothers in bella ruse and in russia and all of that with the world and by the way what is interesting the decision of a.q. menocal patrick kate he made ukrainian independent from russia church not be able to have their parishes they brought all these parishes which they head will have to buzz directly or constantinople i had a good business that it would result. mr protests kay i want to come to you now because we've had ukraine security service chief warning that pollution can use what's.