Leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which had been formally subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, held a council Friday in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In a statement, the council said it "condemns the war as a violation of God's commandment 'Thou shalt not kill!'" and urged the governments of Ukraine and Russia to pursue a path of negotiation.

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But the council also had criticism for Patriarch Kirill – who has given his support to the invasion of Ukraine and has put his church firmly behind Russian President Vladimir Putin – and said it had opted for the "full independence and autonomy" of the Ukrainian church.