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Rus' Orthodox Church or Ruthenian Orthodox Church - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church during the existence of states: Kyivan Rus, Kingdom of Rus' (Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia), Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rus' and Samogitia. From name of Rus' or Ruthenia. Gradually the name of Rus' is replaced by the name of Ukraine.

In 988 Volodymyr the Great established Christianity in its Byzantine-Slavic rite as the national religion of his country, Kyivan Rus. The Kyivan Church inherited the traditions of the Byzantine East and was part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Though Constantinople and Rome had their disputes, the Kyivan hierarchy tried to work for Christian unity. Representatives from Rus participated in the Western Councils of Lyon (1245) and Constance (1418). Isidore, the Metropolitan of Kyiv, was himself one of the creators of the Union of Florence (1439).

While the Kyivan Metropolitanate was working towards reunion, a new metropolitanate arose north of Kyiv, in Moscow. The Church of Moscow refused to accept the Union of Florence and separated from the ancient metropolitanate in Kyiv, announcing its autocephaly (self-governing status) in 1448.

In the 1458, the primacy over the Ukrainian church was restored to Kiev, under the title "Metropolitan of Kiev, Halych and all Rus'".

In 1589, with Greek Orthodoxy and Constantinople subject to Turkish domination, the Church of Moscow became a patriarchate.

The Kyiv Metropolitanate was a component part of the Constantinople Patriarchy from 988 to 1686 when it was illegally, not according to the terms of church canons withdrawn from Constantinople and became part of the Moscow patriarchy. The Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch does not recognize this joining till nowadays.

In 1686, the Ottomans, acting on the behalf of the regent of Russia Sophia Alekseyevna, pressured the Patriarch of Constantinople into transferring the Orthodox Church of Kiev and all Rus' from the jurisdiction of Constantinople to the Patriarch of Moscow, established a century prior to that. The legality of this step is occasionally questioned to this day along with the fact that the transfer was accompanied by graft and bribery, which in church affairs amounts to an ecclesiastical crime.

The Patriarchate was abolished by Peter the Great in 1721 and replaced by the Holy Governing Synod, and the Bishop of Moscow came to be called a Metropolitan again. The Patriarchate was restored in 1917 and suspended by the Soviet authorities in 1925. It was reinstituted for the last time in 1943 during WWII by the initiative of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

Now Russian Orthodox Church officials insist that the term of Rus' Orthodox Church belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Ukrainian historians, representatives of clergy and scholars argue that the Rus' Orthodox Church it is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the beginning of his historical existence.

See also

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