21 October 2016

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Great Holy Council held on Crete

Leaders of the world's Orthodox Christian churches have gathered for the first time in more than 1,200 years despite a boycott by the Russian church and three others.

But despite decades of preparation, Orthodox leaders failed ahead of the meeting in Crete to overcome differences. The Russian church – the most populous in a religion of some 300 million people – as well as the Georgian, Bulgarian, and Syria-based Antioch patriarchates boycotted the so-called Holy and Great Council.

In a statement on June 17, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow said he hoped religious leaders gathered in Crete could prepare for a full meeting at a later date.

Just two days before the first Holy and Great Council of world's orthodox churches in a millennium on the Greek island of Crete, Ukraine's congregation and priesthood published a petition asking His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to facilitate the unification of Ukraine's orthodox churches. The corresponding application was also filed by the Ukrainian Parliament.

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