A house divided. Orthodoxy in post-Maidan Ukraine

Religious institutions in Ukraine are presently embroiled in an internecine battle between Orthodox factions that stand alongside a gaping ideological divide. The central fault line in this conflict is based on geopolitical and civilisational identities, with Moscow’s promotion of pan-Slavism comprising one side, and Kyiv’s pro-EU orientation the other.

The symbolic dimensions of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine are impossible to miss. And, as often as not, that symbolism is connected to religion. It could hardly be otherwise when separatists and Russian officials routinely cast the episodic fighting that continues in the east as a civilisational struggle between an enervated, hedonistic West that backs a “fascist junta” in Kyiv and the traditional Christian values of the so-called “Russian world” – the latter occasionally more palatably presented to Ukrainian audiences as “Holy Rus’.”

April 26, 2018 - George Soroka