We don’t know whether St. Andrew did visit Kyiv or what he may have said, but recent developments in Ukraine herald, if not a “new Jerusalem,” at least a center and leadership of vibrant Christian Orthodoxy and ecumenism. In fact, despite the lackluster results o fthe Vatican’s Russo-centric policy of reconciliation between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, the reunification of the two in Ukraine appears to be much furtheralong then the Vatican’s accomplishments……with serious consequences for Putin’s own efforts at geopolitical “reunification.”
Just last week Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-K) invited the smaller Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) to unite into a single Church that would better represent the interests ofthe Ukrainian people and further limit the Kremlin’s ability to exert influencethrough its Moscow Patriarchate.
The revival of Christianity in Ukraine after nearly a century of persecution, and the rapid growth of an entirely independent (of Moscow) Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been truly remarkable. Between 1994 and 2009, Ukraine experienced a doubling of Christian religious communities to 31,000.