Sweden: ROCOR parish evicted from rented church for “ideological reasons”

Malmö, Sweden, June 20, 2023

Photo: tt.omni.se Photo: tt.omni.se     

A parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has been evicted from the church it rented in Sweden.

Since 2020, the parish of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God has rented a church from the Church of Sweden (Evangelical Lutheran) in Malmö, the third-largest city in Sweden after Stockholm and Gothenburg.

However, the latter organization now assesses that “the congregation has ties to the Russian Orthodox Church,” which, among other things, supports the war in Ukraine, and that the lease should therefore be hastily terminated for “ideological reasons,” reports tt.omni.se.

“A year ago, someone had contact with the Christian Council of Sweden who said that the Malmö parish is connected to the German Diocese and should not be connected to the Moscow Patriarchate. We were satisfied with that. But during the past year, there was a statement that made us hesitant,” says Carina Nilsson, chairman of the church’s property committee.

The parish is listed on the site of the German Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, whose leading hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin, and vicar His Grace Bishop Job of Stuttgart, have both stated their opposition to the war.

Met. Mark has also warned about the efforts in Ukraine to destroy the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In May, Bp. Job published an appeal to diocesan clergy to refrain from political speeches.

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