PARIS (RNS) — The archdiocese of émigré Russian churches in Western Europe, founded in Paris by refugees from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, is split between rejoining the post-communist Moscow Patriarchate or being merged into Orthodox Christianity’s globalized diaspora.

As of Tuesday (Sept. 10), the archdiocesan leadership was inching toward taking the historic step to restore ties to Moscow, more than a century after the leaders’ forebears fled a homeland that had become officially atheist.

The decision was almost made over this past weekend, but like most things connected with émigré politics and disputes among Eastern Orthodox churches, it got complicated.

The archdiocese, based mostly in France but stretching to Norway in the north and Italy in the south, met in a special general assembly in

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