Cypriot to Russian Church: Keep Out of Breakaway North

September 8, 2019

NICOSIA (AP) — Ties between the Orthodox Church of Cyprus and its Russian counterpart frayed Friday over a series of services conducted by a Russian priest in the breakaway, Turkish Cypriot, north of the divided island nation.

The Cypriot church’s leader, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, said he would ask the Russian Patriarch to put a stop to the services that have raised questions about the reasons why they’re being held for “40 or 50” Russian speakers.

The Archbishop said the Cypriot church doesn’t wish its Russian counterpart to meddle in its domestic affairs or create its own parishes on the island, especially in the north where the Cypriot church doesn’t have effective control of hundreds of Orthodox churches and other religious sites.

Chrysostomos said he would ask the Russian church to confirm whether the priest conducting the controversial services belongs to it.

He said he would also appeal to Russian authorities through Patriarch Kirill to convince any Russians living in the north to leave. Although openly doubting whether his efforts would be successful, Chrysostomos said he would ask the same of the governments of other countries whose nationals are living in the north and residing in homes belonging to Greek Cypriots displaced by conflict.

Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974, when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and keeps more than 35,000 troops in the north.

Chrystostomos said the Cyprus church has its own Russian-speaking clergy to conduct services in the internationally recognized, Greek Cypriot south, where an estimated 40,000 Russian expatriates live.

The Archbishop didn’t rule out that the matter may be in retaliation for the Cyprus’ church’s “neutral” position on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s split last year from the Moscow Patriarchate after more than three centuries.

“We love Orthodoxy, we want Orthodoxy to remain united and we’re working to avoid a schism,” said Chrysostomos. “We want to have good relations with everyone, but we have the courage to speak truths no matter how bitter.”



NICOSIA - You don’t mess with trying to claim the name Halloumi for the prized Cypriot cheese that’s one of its most important exports and an Indian firm that tried to do so was blocked there in a case brought by the Cypriot government.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.


Deck the White House Halls: Jill Biden Wants Holiday Visitors to Feel Like Kids Again (Vid & Pics)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Step inside the White House during the holidays by walking beneath the branches of a Christmas tree.

MIAMI — With the game on the line, the Milwaukee Bucks were just about perfect.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Erasing most of a 24-point deficit assured the Sacramento Kings of advancing in the In-Season Tournament.

ATHENS - A bill drafted by the justice ministry which aims to bring substantial changes to the country's penal code and to expedite the administration of justice overall was released to public consultation on Tuesday.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.