The polls were held Sunday by the Greek Cypriots in an election for a new Archbishop who will lead an ancient church that has modern interests, including property management and breweries.
In 2020, the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus was one of few Orthodox Churches to recognize the Ukrainian independence of its fellow Orthodox Church. This caused a split within the Cypriot Church.
Chrysostomos II died in November. Chrysostomos recognized the autonomy of the Ukrainian church and removed it from Moscow’s control, while arguing with pro-Russian clerics.
Barnabas, one of Christ’s first followers, founded Cyprus’s church. It has business interests that range from real estate to Cyprus’s award-winning KEO beer.
Six bishops will compete for votes from half a million voters in a campaign that is more secular than the world of politics. It will be a runoff with the Holy Synod (the Church’s ruling body) selecting the successor of Chrysostomos from the three highest-scoring clerics on Sunday.
Theologian Theodoros Kyriakou stated that “in Cyprus, the flock has the privilege to choose who its shepherd will be,”
According to polls, Athanasios from Limassol is the most popular choice of voters. This low-key priest who supports causes like rehab centres or Isaias KYkiotis, an over-the-top figure leading church relief efforts in disaster areas – was ranked second.
They were both known to be against the decision of the Archbishop to recognize Ukraine’s separation from Moscow’s sphere, but they have stated that the rift has been resolved, especially since Russia invaded Ukraine.