THE ORGANIZATION OF THE AUTONOMOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN UKRAINE DURING THE YEARS OF GERMAN OCCUPATION

Keywords: priest, bishop, eparchy, parish, occupation, the Orthodox Church

Abstract

The article deals with the organization of the Autonomous Orthodox Church in German-occupied Ukraine. This Church, under Metropolitan Oleksii Hromadskyi, recognized the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate and invoked the 1918 decision of the Russian Orthodox Church that granted autonomy to the Ukrainian Church. However, Hromadskyi considered his connection with Moscow as a necessary tactical formality. The Pochaiv decisions were recognized neither by Warsaw nor Moscow and initiated the institutional split of Ukrainian Orthodoxy during the war. The Episcopate of the Autonomous Orthodox Church cooperated closely with the occupation authority. In particular, Hitler and the German army were commemorated during worship services by the clergy, pro-Nazi appeals were issued and Ukrainian youth was campaigned for moving voluntarily to Germany for work. The Autonomists repeatedly emphasized their anti-Soviet position and turned out to be an obedient tool of Nazi propaganda. Consequently, the Orthodox Church had the largest number of orthodox parishes and monasteries in occupied Ukraine. The study proved that, firstly, the revival of church structures in the occupied territory was significant and vital for the spiritual needs satisfaction of the Orthodox population. Secondly, the occupation authority contributed to the restoration of the church network primarily to meet its own interests. On the one hand, this authority opposed itself the Stalinist regime, and on the other hand, was aimed to use the Orthodox Church for its own colonialist policy. Not only the slightest resistance was brutally suppressed by Germans, but any manifestation of Ukrainian religious identity was prevented.

Author Biography

A. Smyrnov, National University of Ostroh Academy



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Published
2020-12-27
How to Cite
Smyrnov, A. (2020). THE ORGANIZATION OF THE AUTONOMOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN UKRAINE DURING THE YEARS OF GERMAN OCCUPATION. Zaporizhzhia Historical Review, 2(54). Retrieved from https://istznu.org/index.php/journal/article/view/916