AKIPRESS.COM - The Russian Orthodox Church says it is cutting all links with the body that wields spiritual authority over the world's Orthodox Christians, in a row over the church in Ukraine, BBC reports.
The Constantinople-based body recently recognised the independence of the Ukrainian Church from Moscow.
Many Ukrainian Christians accuse the Russian Church of favouring Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Constantinople holds sway over 300 million Orthodox Christians globally.
Moscow rejects the independence of the Ukrainian Church and a leading bishop - Metropolitan Hilarion - said the decision to recognise it went "against historical truth".
Moscow says it hopes Constantinople will change its mind on recognising the independence of the Ukrainian Church so that a schism can be avoided.
Russia sees Kiev as the historic cradle of the Russian Orthodox Church.