The Russian Orthodox Church said on Saturday it would respond "in kind and toughly" to the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate over Moscow's row with Ukraine's Orthodox Church. "We now stand before a new church reality: We no longer have a single coordinating center in the Orthodox Church and we must very clearly recognize that," Ilarion said in a televised interview on Russia’s main state broadcaster, Channel 1. ). The estimated 150 million followers of the Moscow Patriarchate make Russia a leader in the Orthodox world, which numbers at least 260 million. The Russian Orthodox Church has compared Ukraine's moves for independence to the Great Schism of 1054 that split western and eastern Christianity, and warned they could lead to … Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an event with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill at the military Patriot Park in Kubinka, outside Moscow, on Sept. 19, 2018. The Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church has at least 150 million followers - more than half the total of Orthodox Christians. Russian Orthodox Church, on the other hand, said this marked the greatest split in Christianity in a thousand years, ever since the so-called Great Schism of 1054, when the Christian East and West split into what became the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}The Russian Orthodox Church has cut ties with the Church leadership in Istanbul, the Constantinople Patriarchate traditionally regarded as the Orthodox faith's headquarters. The Constantinople Patriarchate’s recognition of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church as independent leads to Russia cutting ties. (MORE: Researchers identify second suspect in nerve agent poisoning as Russian doctor for military intelligence), (MORE: Lawyer for indicted Russian firm says special counsel 'made up a crime'), (MORE: Is Russia playing a double game in Mueller court battle? According to one of the legends, Andrew reached the future location of Kiev and foretold the foundation of a great Christian city. The practical implications of the split were still being worked out by ecclesiastical experts on Tuesday, but Russian church officials suggested the most immediate effect would be that its faithful should no longer attend services, or take part in communion, marriages or baptisms at churches under the authority of Constantinople. News Ukraine Orthodox Church seeks spiritual split from Russia . Moscow -- Russian Orthodox Church leaders have announced that the church is severing relations with the historical seat of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, opening a major rift in the global Orthodox Church. But traditionally Constantinople has been seen as "first among equals". Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin would defend "the interests of Russians and Russian speakers and the interests of the Orthodox", but only by using "political and diplomatic measures". Bartholomew I of Constantinople, considered the "first among equals" of Eastern Orthodox church leaders, agreed to grant autocephaly, or self-governance, to the Ukrainian Church, despite the fierce objections of Moscow. But he said, recent actions didn't appear to suggest that. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Four dead after Trump supporters ransack Congress. From now on it will also boycott joint Orthodox Church ceremonies. 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