Russian Orthodox Church ends divide stemming from Soviet era


May 18, 2007|By Los Angeles Times

Moscow -- The Russian Orthodox Church formally ended yesterday an 80-year global schism triggered when overseas exiles refused to accept the domestic church's subservience to the Soviet state.

In a ceremony at Christ the Savior Cathedral, leaders of the domestic and overseas Russian Orthodox hierarchies signed an act of "canonical communion."

The document provides for the full restoration of religious unity under the Moscow patriarchate.

The Russian Orthodox Church was torn by the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, a subsequent civil war pitting Vladimir I. Lenin's Red Army against a monarchist White Army, and the flight of refugees abroad.

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