Greece’s Orthodox Church will resist a push by its Russian co-religionists for talks to stop Ukraine’s Church breaking away from Moscow’s orbit, Greek church officials said on Tuesday, deepening a rift within the global Orthodox Christian community.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church wants to become fully self-governing, or autocephalous, and has sought the support of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the world’s roughly 250 million Orthodox Christians.

Seeking to prevent Ukraine’s separation, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has written to all the self-governing Orthodox Churches calling for talks about the situation in Ukraine.

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