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Sergei Chapnin

Ukraine Is Dangerously Close to a Religious War

To avoid bloodshed, all sides will have to act wisely.

Be a lover, not a fighter.

Be a lover, not a fighter.

Photographer: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political and military clash with Ukraine has brought about a schism on a spiritual level: The Ukrainian part of the Orthodox Church is on the verge of breaking away from its Russian overseer — a move that would undermine Moscow’s central role in eastern Christianity.

There’s a real danger that the rift could lead to bloodshed, an outcome that all sides must act decisively to prevent.