Yareshchenko, Oleksander

Yareshchenko, Oleksander [Ярещенко, Олександер; Jareščenko], b 12 September 1890 in the Poltava region, d ca 1938. Archbishop of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church (UAOC). He graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy and the Institute of Road Engineering in Saint Petersburg and then became head of the Poltava railway (1920–1). At the the first All-Ukrainian Orthodox Church sobor in Kyiv on 14–30 October 1921 Yareshchenko was consecrated bishop of Poltava (see Poltava eparchy). He worked in Lubny (1921–3), where he organized 50 Ukrainian parishes and the okruha council of the UAOC for the district. Then he became archbishop of Kharkiv (1923–6; see Kharkiv eparchy) and organized the UAOC in Slobidska Ukraine. Yareshchenko was vice-chairman of the All-Ukrainian Orthodox Church Council and a member of the Ideological Commission of the UAOC (1924–6). An accomplished preacher who strongly opposed communism, in 1926 he was one of the first UAOC hierarchs to be arrested and imprisoned (in Moscow, then sent to Tashkent). He was released briefly in 1934, and lived in Kursk. He was then exiled to Siberia, where he died.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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