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Former patriarch threatens future of new Ukraine church
Former patriarch threatens future of new Ukraine church

The former head of Ukraine's breakaway independent church held a rare conference of clerics Thursday with the aim of restoring his religious leadership, threatening the future of Ukraine's new unified Orthodox Church. Archbishop Filaret, 90, brought together some 100 clerics in Kiev's Saint Vladimir Cathedral, in a bid to annul a decision that merged the Kiev patriarchy that he previously led with another Orthodox church. The joining of the churches paved the way for the creation of a new unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church independent of Moscow created last year -- a historic decision after Moscow controlled the Ukrainian church for more than 300 years.

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