Disinfo: The Greek church recognised Ukrainian autocephaly under pressure


Constantinople, as you know, threatened to take control over some of the dioceses from the Church of Greece if the latter does not recognise the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It is also well-known, and Greek sources confirm, that the US Embassy in Athens also exerted unprecedented pressure on the Archbishop of Athens.


conspiracy theory presented without any supporting evidence and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The process of recognition was initiated by the Orthodox Church of Greece on 8 January 2019, when the Permanent Synod of the Church of Greece decided that the issue of recognition would be dealt with by the Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece.

In February, the Synod of the Church decided to appoint two commissions to study the issue. In August, the commissions presented a report and recommended to recognise the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

On 12 October, the primate of the church Ieronymos II of Athens and other leaders supported the conclusions and voted for the recognition, stating that “the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has the right to grant autocephaly”.

See similar case alleging that the US pressurised the Greek church on this matter here.


  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Greece, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: autocephaly, Orthodox Church


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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