In the wake of an invasion that has shaken the globe, the diaspora of Ukrainians from Winnipeg to Warsaw has taken to the streets to denounce a war they say is unprovoked. But another side of their fierce resistance is spiritual – ringing in choruses, sermons, and prayers inside Byzantine-style Ukrainian Orthodox churches and cathedrals around the globe.
After centuries in the sway of Moscow – from nationalist czars to atheist politburos – Orthodox Christians of Ukrainian descent are fighting not just a political battle but for spiritual sovereignty from Russia’s arm of the Orthodox church. These are struggles of identity that date to the 17th century and threaten Vladimir Putin’s sense of Russia’s place in the world.