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Ukraine Abandons Orthodox Christmas Date In Provocative Move

In a controversial move aimed at severing cultural ties with Russia, Ukrainian MPs have voted to abandon the traditional Orthodox Christmas date of January 7. The decision, announced on Friday, changes the observance of Christmas to December 25, aligning with Western Catholic and Protestant traditions.

The proposal to cancel Orthodox Christmas was initially put forth by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who argued that the change would help distance Ukraine from its Russian heritage, reject Russian traditions, and strengthen national unity.

With 241 MPs supporting the proposal, surpassing the required 226 votes, the bill is expected to become law after July 28.

Ukrainian MP Irina Gerashchenko applauded the decision, highlighting that Ukrainians, both Orthodox and Catholics, will now celebrate holidays alongside the civilized world, but not with Moscow.

The move has drawn criticism, with Russian MP Leonid Slutsky condemning it as an insult to the beliefs of millions of believers and a rupture of longstanding ties and traditions.

While the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and the Russian Orthodox Church continue to celebrate Christmas on January 7 following the Julian calendar, the Kiev-backed Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) and other Catholic and Protestant denominations observe the holiday on December 25 using the Gregorian calendar.

Religious tensions in Ukraine have been heightened by the ongoing schism between various Orthodox entities claiming authenticity. The Ukrainian authorities’ crackdown on the UOC, including church raids and attempts to expel monks from the historic Kiev-Pechersk Lavra monastery, has further exacerbated the division.

Amid suspicions that the UOC maintains covert support for Russia, despite Ukraine’s declaration of independence, the country grapples with the complexities of religious identity and the geopolitical landscape.

The Ukrainian government’s move to alter the Orthodox Christmas date appears to be a clear case of interference in religious matters, with an apparent intention to sever cultural ties with Russia and stoke religious tensions. This decision raises concerns about the government’s involvement in shaping religious practices and its potential consequences for national unity and harmony.

This provocative move raises questions about the true motives behind prioritizing national unity at the expense of religious harmony and historical connections. The decision not only undermines cultural heritage but also risks exacerbating existing conflicts, making it imperative to closely monitor the implications and potential consequences of this divisive choice.

Stay tuned as Ukraine navigates the delicate intersection of faith, tradition, and national unity in this provocative decision that may reshape the religious landscape of the nation.

Check out other articles in our Religion section.


#Ukraine #Russia #Orthodox #UkrainianOrthodoxChurch #Zelensky #Christmas #Zelensky #religiouspersecution

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