Putin helps end long Russian church rift

Exile church returns to the fold
The Russian Orthodox Church and an émigré church that broke ties in 1927 over a Russian church leader’s declaration of loyalty to the Soviet state have officially reunited at a ceremony in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

“Church divisions are being overcome, and the confrontation in society inherited from the times of the revolution is being beaten back,” said Patriarch Alexsy II of the Russian Orthodox Church after the signing of an act of canonical union May 17. This was followed by his first joint liturgy with Metropolitan Laurus of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

The event, attended by Russian president Vladimir Putin and a crowd of worshipers that included émigré pilgrims from around the world, was hailed as a symbolic and spiritual end to the Russian civil war that broke out after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.


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