Government Estonia demands that Metropolitan breaks with Kirill


Eastern Europe


Metropolitan Yevgeny. Photo Estonian Orthodox Church

The Estonian Minister of Home Affairs ordered the Metropolitan Yevgeny, Primate of the Estonian Orthodox Church, to distance himself from the war-supporting Moscow Patriarchate.

The Home Affairs Minister, Lauri Läänemets, said so in an interview with the national broadcaster ERR, as reported by Tass.

The Minister said that he expected Metropolitan Yevgeny to distance himself from the statements of the Moscow Patriarchate. Furthermore, he stated that the "Orthodox Church, which is subordinate to Moscow, will not support such activities here in Estonia."

On September 28, the Metropolitan visited the Ministry of Home Affairs to discuss the military operation in Ukraine. That is reported by the website of the Estonian Orthodox Church. The delegates of the Ministry said to be concerned about the tensions in society, which have led to aggression against the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the silence of the Church on the topic even worsens the situation. Therefore, it called on the Metropolitan to make a public statement to clarify their stance on the conflict.

The Estonian Church furthermore indicated that it prays for all people involved in the conflict and suffering from it, but still does not speak out against the invasion. By holding on to their neutrality, they hope that all Orthodox Christians who come to the church, regardless from nationality and political views, can pray and receive spiritual support in their services.

Spiritual mobilisation

However, the politician did not specify which statements and activities he was talking about. On Tuesday, Patriarch Kirill called believers to strengthen their faith and to "spiritual mobilisation" of all their forces. That is reported by Interfax.

He expressed the hope that that would contribute to the complete reconciliation of Russia and Ukraine. "It will mobilise all the forces of our Fatherland, and at the same time, it will facilitate full reconciliation of Russia and Ukraine", Kirill said. He added that believers should pray for the restoration of "fraternal relations between the "two parts of united Rus."

It is not the first time that Patriarch Kirill has been the centre of controversy. Earlier, other Eastern Orthodox churches, for example, in Ukraine and Latvia, distanced themselves from the Moscow Patriarchate because of Kirill's open support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Latvian church did so under the pressure of the Latvian government. After that happened, the Russian church criticised the fact that national governments were mingling in church affairs.



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