MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine has turned over one of the most famous Orthodox churches in the capital for permanent use by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The law transferring the use of St. Andrew's Church went into effect on Saturday. The move comes after the patriarchate, whose leader is regarded as "first among equals" for Orthodox Christians, moved to allow the Orthodox church in Ukraine to become independent of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The baroque St. Andrew's Church, noted for its blue-and-white spires and cupola, is one of Kiev's most visible landmarks. It was designed by the same architect responsible for the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and is part of a state preservation complex.