Estonian Church observes strict fast day for peace in Church life

Tallinn, April 23, 2024     

His Eminence Metropolitan Evgeny of Tallinn, the primate of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate called for the faithful to observe a strict fast today and pray for peace in Church life.

His call comes as state pressure ramps up against the Church following the publication of a document from the World Russian People’s Council, chaired by Patriarch Kirill, that speaks of a “holy war” in Ukraine.

The Estonian Minister of the Interior has spoken of the Moscow Patriarchate as a “terrorist organization,” and a bill has been submitted to the national Parliament characterizing the Church as an accomplice to Russian aggression. The Ministry is also sending representatives to churches and monasteries to try to convince them to move from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate to that of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which operates a parallel jurisdiction in the country.

The mayor of Tallinn has already initiated the process of terminating the lease for the Metropolitan’s office.

Met. Evgeny’s call for prayer and fasting, published on April 20, reads:

Beloved in the Lord archpastors,
venerable fathers, dear brothers and sisters!

Great Lent is coming to an end, a time that was associated for us not only with bodily restrictions but also with many concerns about the fate of our Church.

We have made efforts to reduce tensions in society, but the danger of upheavals in Church life has not passed. We initiated the negotiation process and hope that with God’s help, we will be able to find ways to overcome the crisis.

I call on everyone to remain calm, to maintain loyalty to the hierarchy of the Estonian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, and to remember that fasting and prayer are the main means of overcoming all situations. In this regard, I bless all those who are able, to observe a strict one-day fast on April 23. I ask the church rectors to serve molebens at the end of the evening service on this day.

May the All-Merciful Lord accept our labors and grant us to meet His Glorious Resurrection in peace and harmony.

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