Photo from UNIAN

Over 300 parishes of the former Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) have become part of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) since the unification council and the creation of the local OCU independent of Russia's influence.

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The parishes in the west and in the center of Ukraine are most actively joining the new church. Northern Ukraine has become significantly more active thanks to Zhytomyr region. The parishes in the south of the country and in Kyiv region are also gradually joining the OCU. At the same time, the process is much slower in the east of Ukraine, although the first decisions have already been made to join the OCU in Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian TV news service reported.

Vinnytsia region is in the lead by the number of the parishes that have joined the new church, while the second active region is Volyn. Many parishes in Khmelnytskiy, Zhytomyr, Rivne and Lviv regions have decided to join the OCU. In particular, all nine parishes of the former UOC-MP in Lviv region's Sokal district joined the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the Unification Council of members of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches in Kyiv on December 15 elected Metropolitan of Pereyaslavsky and Bila Tserkva from the then Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate Epifaniy (also known as Epiphanius I) as head of the new local Orthodox church in Ukraine.

On January 6, Epifaniy, as Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, received from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul the tomos of autocephaly (independence) of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy was inaugurated as Primate of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine at Kyiv's Saint Sophia Cathedral on February 3.