Head of Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia signs anti-war statement

Metropolitan Eugene, leader of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Metropolitan Eugene, leader of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia Metropolitan Yevgeny has given his signatory to a statement condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The statement is signed by leaders of Estonian Council of Churches (Eesti Kirikute Nõukogu) member denominations, including some found in Ukraine itself.

The statement reads that: "We are witnessing terrible developments on the battlefield in Ukraine. Thousands have died, including innocent children, teens, the elderly. Tens of thousands have been wounded. Hundreds of thousands have been left homeless or in distress due to fear, cold, hunger and thirst and ill health. Millions have been forced to leave."

"As leaders of Estonia 's largest churches, we condemn the bombing of humanitarian sites, including churches, and the threat to civilians," the statement adds, while its signatories have pledged practical assistance, food and shelter to war refugees, and to all who need it, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Metropolitan Yevgeny has been head of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate since 2018.

The church has a membership of well over 100,000 in Estonia and falls, as its name suggests, under jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow, led by Patriarch Kirill.

Other signatories of the statement include the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Churches' (EELK) Archbishop Urmas Viilma, Metropolitan Stephanos  of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church – part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople – and head of the Methodist Church in Estonia, Andres Ploompuu.

Patriarch Kirill himself reportedly discussed the Ukraine war with Pope Francis yesterday, Wednesday.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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