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Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs urges to recognize Moscow Patriarchate as terrorist organization

Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs urges to recognize Moscow Patriarchate as terrorist organization Estonian Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Estonia's Minister of Internal Affairs, Lauri Läänemets, is set to propose the Riigikogu to recognize the Moscow Patriarchate as a terrorist organization in order to ban its activities within the country, according to Postimees.

A day earlier, a representative of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (EOCMP) said that they are not directly subordinate to the Moscow Patriarch and cannot be held responsible for statements made in Moscow in support of Russia's war against Ukraine. Essentially, the local church rejected the minister's demand to sever ties with Russian Patriarch Kirill.

According to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, based on an examination by the department and an assessment by the Security Police, which he has just received, he as the Minister of Internal Affairs has no choice but to take measures to sever the ties between the EOCMP and the Moscow Patriarch.

"Given the current context, as Minister of Internal Affairs, I have no choice but to propose to the Riigikogu to declare the Moscow Patriarchate a terrorist organization that supports terrorism in its activities. The Minister of Internal Affairs will be able to appeal to the court and propose to cease the activities of the active church organization here. This will not affect parishioners, it does not mean that the churches will be closed, but it means that ties with Moscow will be severed," the minister said.

He also added that the Moscow Patriarchate is subordinate to the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who, in fact, directs terrorist activities worldwide.

Activities of the EOCMP

Last year, the Security Service of Ukraine conducted a series of checks on the dioceses of the EOCMP. Dozens of clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate were suspected of treason, inciting enmity, and denying the war.

The most resonant case was that of the former vicar of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan of the EOCMP, Pavlo, who is suspected of inciting interreligious enmity and justifying Russia's armed aggression.

Initially, the court arrested Metropolitan Pavlo, but later he was released on bail. Since the start of the full-scale war, the special service has exposed over 60 clerics of the EOCMP who worked for Russia, as well as sold weapons and child pornography.