Some Ukrainians move up Christmas to part ways with Russia

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Ukraine (AP) December,25 Ukrainians usually celebrate Christmas on January 7, just like Russians do. But not this year, at least not all.

Some Orthodox Ukrainians, like many Christians around the world, choose to celebrate Christmas on December 25th. Yes, this has to do with the war and yes they have the blessing of the local church.

The idea of ​​commemorating the birth of Jesus in December was until recently considered radical in Ukraine, but the Russian invasion changed many minds and ideas.

In October, the leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has nothing to do with the Russian Church and is one of two branches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, agreed to allow believers to celebrate on December 25th.

The choice of date has a distinct political and religious underpinning in a country with rival Orthodox churches, and in the culture war running parallel to the war of guns, a slight modification of the ritual has powerful implications. There is a possibility. screen
For some, the change of date means a break with Russia, its culture and religion.People in a village outside Kyiv recently voted to increase Christmas celebrations.

“The full-scale invasion that began on February 24 is the realization and understanding that we can no longer be part of the Russian world,” said Olena Paryi, a 33-year-old resident of Bobrizia. I got

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The Russian Orthodox Church, which claims sovereignty over the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and some other Eastern Orthodox Churches continue to use the old Julian calendar. In this calendar, Christmas falls on January 7, 13 days later than the Gregorian calendar used by most religious and secular groups.

The Catholic Church first adopted the astronomically more accurate modern Gregorian calendar in his 16th century, and since then Protestants and some Orthodox churches have combined their own calendars to calculate Christmas.

A meeting of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in October decreed that local church leaders could choose dates with their congregations. was also caused.

In Bobrizia, some believers encouraged changes within the local church. This church recently became part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has no connection with Russia. In a poll held last week, 200 out of 204 voted in favor of adopting December 25th as the new day to celebrate Christmas.