The eastern Orthodox church has over 250 million members around the world, with its spiritual leader based in Istanbul.
But for followers in Ukraine, there’s a new found independence.
Churches there have officially cut ties with the Russian branch of the church – accusing it of what they call ‘pro-Moscow propaganda’.
But the decision has angered Russian leaders, with Moscow warning of serious consequences for what it calls political maneuvering.
Presenter: Elizabeth Puranam
Valentin Yakushik – professor of political science at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Marat Shterin – professor of sociology of religion and department head of theology and religious studies at King’s College London
Alexander Bratersky – senior foreign policy writer at Gazeta.ru newspaper
Source: Al Jazeera News