Pakštuvan Orthodox Church

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Pakštuvan Orthodox Church was a church that existed in Pakštuva in years 1940-1942.

The peace treaty of Russia and Pakštuva that ended Thunderstorm War requested that "any religious institutions of Lithuania should not operate in Pakštuva". As such, Lithuanian Orthodox Church (its Eparchy of Naujasis Vilnius in particular) changed its name to Pakštuvan Orthodox Church in area and declared autocephaly. This was not recognised by any other Orthodox church however, including Russian Orthodox Church.

Pakštuvan Orthodox Church was led by (in theory) the Supreme Leader, who was represented by Metropolite. All practices of Pakštuvan Orthodox Church were similar to those of Lithuanian Orthodox Church. But the mass was also celebrated in Ukrainian and Belarussian in an attempt to draw more followers from the unloyal Russian Orthodox Church (which had to be legalised according to the Pakštuvan-Russian peace treaty).

The number of adherents is hard to estimate (as there was no census) with various statistics giving any number from 10% to 75% Pakštuvan orthodoxes being members of the church (therefore from 20 thousand to more than 150 thousand people).

With the annexation of Pakštuva in Borderland War certain key figures of the church were killed, but others managed to evacuate to Rhodesia and later Cape Town, where they renamed back to Eparchy of Naujasis Vilnius of Lithuanian Orthodox Church. After the Second Great War ended, the eparchy was renamed to Eparchy of Africa and catered mostly to the Slavs originally frm Lithuania living in Africa.

This page was created by Abdul-aziz.
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