Interior minister: We are keeping an eye on the Russian Orthodox Church

Lauri Läänemets  (SDE).
Lauri Läänemets (SDE). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Minister of Internal Affairs Lauri Läänemets (SDE) said that should the Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia, that answers to the Moscow Patriarchate, make pro-war statements in Estonia, the residence permit of Metropolitan Eugene can be revoked. The church has not spoken out in support of the war so far, the minister added.

"It is a serious problem when a church condones war. As concerns the Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia, that answers to the Moscow Patriarchate, we are keeping a close eye on what they are doing an ear to what they are saying. To the best of my knowledge, the church has not voiced any direct calls to action or messages to justify the war so far," Läänemets told ERR.

The minister said that should the Orthodox leader in Estonia make any pro-war statements, it would merit a swift response.

"Measures pertaining to their residence permit could be taken. Estonia has been very clear in that justifying the Ukraine war and calls to take up arms against Ukraine will not be tolerated. Everyone engaging in such things must be held responsible, also in Estonia," Läänemets said.

Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill said on Monday (link in Russian) that Russian soldiers fighting Ukraine are answering their calling and discharging their duty to the homeland and society, which is why their actions amount to a sacrifice and demonstrate loyalty to vows. Kirill said that Russian soldiers who fall are absolved of any and all sins.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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