The International Orthodox Christian News website reports that Ukraine's independent Orthodox Church has criticized president-elect Viktor Yanukovych for inviting the Russian patriarch to lead a church service before his inauguration as politically incorrect.
Yanukovych has invited Patriarch Kirill -- the head of the Russian Orthodox Church -- to lead a church service ahead of the inauguration on February 25, 2010 in an indication of his pro-Russian drive.
Bishop Yevstratiy, a senior Ukrainian official, said the Russian patriarch's blessing Yanukovych for president would look odd and could send reverberations across Ukrainian society.
Ukraine is predominantly an Orthodox country, but the Orthodox Church in Ukraine is divided, with the Moscow Patriarchy controlling its larger branch. The other major branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is independent, and is under the jurisdiction of the Kiev Patriarchate.