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Panel to Examine the Role of Religion in the Ukrainian-Russian Conflict


The separation of church and state is a given for those who live in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, though, the boundary is much less distinct. So, when crises arise in these places — such as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine — religion inevitably becomes entangled.

Next week, Fordham’s Orthodox Christian Studies Center will host an international panel of experts to discuss the complicated role religion plays in the tension between Ukraine and Russia.

Putin, Religion, and Ukraine
Tuesday, Nov. 4
6:30 p.m. |12th-floor lounge / Corrigan Conference Center
Lowenstein Center | Lincoln Center Campus
113 W. 60th St. | New York, NY

“In Eastern Europe, religion is very much a part of the cultural and ethnic identity,” said Aristotle Papanikolaou, Ph.D., cofounder of the center and the Archbishop Demetrios Professor in Orthodox Theology and Culture.

“For example, to be Greek means by default that you are also Greek Orthodox—even if you are an atheist. Likewise in Ukraine, religion gets caught up in the politics of both Russia and Ukraine, which makes the situation very complicated.”

Religious communities are also themselves experiencing friction as a result of the conflict, said Papanikolaou, who will moderate the Nov. 4 panel.

“Orthodox faiths are divided. Some have allegiance to the Russian Orthodox Church and others have started their own Ukrainian Orthodox Church with no allegiance to the Russian way,” he said.

For more information about the event, visit the Orthodox Christian Studies Center’s website.

The panel discussion is sponsored by the Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc., the Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation, Inc., and donors to the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.


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