Orthodox religious leaders pray inside a church on the Greek island of Crete on June 19, 2016. AFP / COSTAS METAXAKIS
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Orthodox church leaders from around the world met in Greece Sunday for the first such gathering in a millennium, but the absence of several branches of the communion threatened to mar the event.The absence of Russian Orthodox leader Kyrill, who represents some 130 million faithful – half the world's Orthodox population – threatened to undermine the image of unity that the gathered leaders had sought to project.The Orthodox communion has about 250 million followers worldwide and consists of some 14 autonomous churches.Unlike the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox churches are independent and have their own leadership.
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