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The Abkhazian Orthodox Church
Abkhazian Orthodox Church
(Russian: Абхазская Православная церковь) is an Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
church outside the official Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
ecclesiastical hierarchy. It came into existence when the Sukhumi-Abkhazian Eparchy
Eparchy
declared on 15 September 2009 that it no longer considered itself part of the Georgian Orthodox Church
Georgian Orthodox Church
and that it was "re-establishing the Catholicate of Abkhazia
Abkhazia
disbanded in 1795".[2]

Contents

1 Internal hierarchy 2 History 3 Gallery 4 See also 5 External links 6 References

Internal hierarchy[edit] The Abkhazian Orthodox church is organised into two eparchies, one in Pitsunda
Pitsunda
and one in Sukhumi. The Pitsunda
Pitsunda
Cathedral is the church's chief cathedral. The church is currently led by priest Vissarion Aplaa.[3] It has nine parishes and one monastery, at Kaman.[4] History[edit] The Abkhazian Orthodox Church
Abkhazian Orthodox Church
considers itself to be the continuation of the Catholicate of Abkhazia. The Catholicate of Abkhazia
Abkhazia
was disbanded in 1814, when all local dioceses were taken over by the Russian Orthodox Church.[citation needed] They then became part of the Georgian Orthodox Church
Georgian Orthodox Church
following the fall of Tsar Nicholas II
Tsar Nicholas II
in 1917. The Abkhazian orthodox dioceses fall under the canonically recognized territory of the Georgian Orthodox Church
Georgian Orthodox Church
as Sukhumi-Abkhazian eparchy. After the 1992-1993 war in Abkhazia, ethnically Georgian priests had to flee Abkhazia
Abkhazia
and the Georgian Orthodox church effectively lost control of Abkhazian church affairs. The last Georgian monks and nuns, based in the upper Kodori Valley, were expelled early in 2009 after they resisted pressure from the Abkhaz authorities to sever allegiance to the Georgian church.[5] The ethnically Abkhaz Vissarion Aplaa was the only remaining priest after the early 1990s war and he became acting head of the Sukhumi-Abkhazian eparchy. In the following years, recently consecrated clerics from the neighbouring Russian Maykop Eparchy arrived in Abkhazia. The new priests (archimandrite Dorotheos Dbar, hieromonk Andrew Ampar, hierodeacon David Sarsania) came into conflict with Vissarion, but through the mediation of Russian church officials, the two sides managed to reach a power-sharing agreement in Maikop in 2005. Under the agreement, the Eparchy
Eparchy
would thenceforth have co-chairs and be named the Abkhazian Eparchy
Eparchy
with undefined canonical status, to stress its separation from the Georgian Orthodox Church. The agreement did not hold however, when Priest Vissarion refused to share the leadership and continued to sign documents using the old name of the Eparchy.[6] On 15 September 2009 the leadership of the Sukhumi-Abkhazian Eparchy declared that it no longer considered itself part of the Georgian Orthodox Church, that it was re-establishing the Catholicate of Abkhazia, and that it would henceforth be known as the Abkhazian Orthodox Church. Its leader Aplia asked the Russian and Georgian churches to recognize the "Abkhazian Orthodox Church". A spokesman for the Georgian patriarchate said the decision to separate from the Georgian Orthodox Church
Georgian Orthodox Church
was taken by a "group of impostors", while the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
confirmed that it continued to view Abkhazia
Abkhazia
as the canonical territory of the Georgian Church.[7][8] On 9 February 2011, the Abkhazian government transferred 38 churches, cathedrals and monasteries perpetually into the care of the Abkhazian Orthodox Church.[9] Gallery[edit]

Pitsunda
Pitsunda
Cathedral

New Athos Monastery

New Athos Monastery frescoes

Church in Sokhumi

St. Simon the Canaanite church

Mokva cathedral

Lykhny temple

See also[edit]

Montenegrin Orthodox Church Macedonian Orthodox Church Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate Orthodox Church in Italy

External links[edit]

Minutes of the Sukhumi-Abkhazian Eparchy
Eparchy
council meeting establishing the Abkhazian Orthodox Church

References[edit]

^ Действующие храмы и монастыри Абхазской Епархии ^ Сухумо-Абхазская епархия переименована в Абхазскую Православную церковь с Сухумским и Пицундским патриархатами (in Russian). Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 2009-09-16. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2009-09-26.  ^ Абхазская православная церковь заявила о своей самостоятельности (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-09-26.  ^ Kuchuberia, Anzhela (17 November 2009). Абхазская православная церковь обратилась к духовенству Грузии с братским посланием (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 29 November 2009.  ^ Abkhazia: "We'll kick out anyone". Forum 18. 7 April 2009 ^ Вновь обострился конфликт внутри православной общины Абхазии. Blagovest.info May 15, 2006. Retrieved on June 26, 2007 (in Russian) ^ Georgian patriarchy refuses to recognize Abkhaz Orthodox Church. RIA Novosti. September 16, 2009 ^ Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
‘Respects’ Georgian Church Authority over Abkhazia, S.Ossetia. Civil Georgia. September 16, 2009 ^ Абхазской православной церкви переданы в безвозмездное бессрочное пользование 38 храмов и соборов.. Apsnypress (in Russian). 9 February 2011. Retrieved 25 Fe

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