Metropolitan of Estonia appeals decision not to renew his residence permit

Tallinn, January 30, 2024

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The primate of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has appealed the state’s decision not to extend his residence permit, which means he must leave the country by early next month.

It was reported last week that His Eminence Metropolitan Evgeny of Tallinn’s residence permit won’t be renewed after it expires on February 6, as authorities have deemed him a threat to national security, arguing that he “supports the actions of the aggressor in his public activities, including public speeches.”

Recall that Estonian authorities have been watching the Estonian Church closely and have admitted in the past that they found nothing suspicious. Met. Evgeny and Bp. Lazar of Narva have both signed and issued statements against the war, and the Metropolitan publicly stated his disagreement with Pat. Kirill’s homily about soldiers who die in war receiving forgiveness of sins. Nevertheless, the state continued to be suspicious of the Estonian Church, and Met. Evgeny now must leave the country within a week.

Three clerics of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church spoke out in defense of Met. Evgeny last week and against state interference in Church matters.

The Estonian Church reported on Saturday that Met. Evgeny that Met. Evgeny received an official letter from the Police and Border Guard Department on January 18, regarding the refusal to extend his residence permit. On January 25, the Metropolitan submitted his objections and applied for an extension of his temporary residence permit, taking into account the objections he provided.

Formerly the Archbishop of Verey in Russia, Met. Evgeny has served in Estonia since June 2018.

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