Parochial politics

The religious divide in the Ukraine
Viktor Yushchenko’s 52-to-42 percent victory over Viktor Yanukovych in the December 26 election in Ukraine reflected not only the centuries-old schism between western and eastern Ukraine, but also the split between the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church–Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP).

During the passion-filled campaign, in which the first vote was tossed out by the court because of fraud, almost everyone in the Ukraine took sides, including the country’s diverse religious communities. As a rule, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church–Moscow Patriarchate supported Prime Minister Yanukovych, whereas the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church–Kiev and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, as well as the Muslim, Jewish and Protestant communities, supported opposition leader Yushchenko.

 

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