Since the Church Union of Brest signed in 1596, the Uniate Church was not accepted by the tsar and the Moscow Patriarchate. They considered the Uniates as people taken away by force from the Russian Orthodox Church. After the partition of Poland there were three parts of the Uniate Church in the Russian partition area. Abolition of those was begun by Catherine II in 1794. Almost 1.5 million people, mostly from Ukraine, entered the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1839 Nicolas I extinguished the Uniate Church in Belarus. Around 1.5 million people were made Russian Orthodox there, too. The last and the bloodiest action was carried out under the reign of the Romanov in the Polish Kingdom in 1875. Then again 260 thousand people were introduced into the Russian Church. The Uniates survived only in the Austrian partition area, i.e. in Eastern Galicia. In the act announced by Maria Theresa in 1774, they were officially called Greek Catholic. After the World War II the area was introduced into the Soviet Union and in 1946 Stalin extinguished the Greek Catholic Church. It was re-established after the decline of communism in the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century. Despite the oppressions, its members have kept the faith and connection with Vatican.
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