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The Estonian interior minister proposed Moscow Patriarchate to be declared a terrorist organization

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Estonian Minister of the Interior and leader of the Social Democratic Party, Lauri Laanemets, intends to propose that the Moscow Patriarchate be recognized as a terrorist organization and thus banned from operating in Estonia.

The member of the government made such a statement on Thursday evening in the show “First Studio” on the TV channel ETV. According to the Minister, based on the expertise of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the assessment of the Security Police that he has just received, he has no choice but to take measures himself to sever the ties between the Estonian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarch.

“Given the available context, I, as the Minister of Internal Affairs, have no choice but to propose that the Moscow Patriarchate be declared terrorist and supporting terrorism in its activities. As a result, the Minister of the Interior will be able to go to court and propose that the activity of the church organization operating here be terminated. This will not affect the parishioners, it does not mean that the churches will be closed, but it means that the ties with Moscow will be severed,” the minister said.

“We have to realize that today the Moscow Patriarchate is subordinate to Vladimir Putin, who essentially leads terrorist activity in the world,” the politician stressed.

According to Laanemets, over the past two years, law enforcement has had to call representatives of the Estonian Orthodox Church to the MP several times due to security concerns. However, he added that the recent statement of the World Council of the Russian People under the auspices of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patr. Cyril, that Russia’s war against Ukraine is “holy”, has raised the situation to a new level. “If we draw a parallel, the patriarch and the patriarchate now operating in Moscow are no different from the Islamic terrorists who claim to be waging a ‘holy war’ against the Western world and its values,” the minister noted.

The MP has already reacted to Laanemetz’s statement, saying that “the dark times of religious wars and witch-hunts have returned”. “It is obvious to any sane person that the Moscow Patriarchate does not engage in terrorist activity,” said Maria Zakharova, the Kremlin spokeswoman.

At the same time, in Russia, the accusation of terrorist activity or support for terrorism is a widely used method of political repression. Deacon Andrey Kuraev recalls that Jehovah’s Witnesses banned in Russia are accused of terrorist activity, as well as hundreds of people who publicly expressed grief over Navalny’s death. “Every day in Russia there is news of repression against people who every sane person knows are not engaged in terrorist activities. But the Moscow Patriarchate was not excited about it,” he wrote in his blog.

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