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Church hosting Navalny’s funeral is steeped in the war he opposed

Reuters Alexei Navalny was a Christian who condemned the invasion of Ukraine as a crazy enterprise built on lies. But the church that was designated to host his funeral has donated to the Russian army and enthusiastically advertised its backing for the war. Navalny, Russia’s best known opposition politician, died suddenly on 16th February in […]

Estonia tells its top Russian Orthodox clergyman to leave the country

Reuters Estonia has told the head of its branch of the Russian Orthodox Church to leave the country, calling him a threat to national security, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reported on Thursday. Valeri Reshetnikov, who heads the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate as Metropolitan Eugene, was refused an extension of his residence permit […]

On Orthodox Christmas Putin vows to back soldiers who “defend” Russia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends the Orthodox Christmas liturgy at a cathedral on the territory of the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, on 7th January, 2024.

Reuters President Vladimir Putin vowed on the eve of Orthodox Christmas to back soldiers who “with arms in hands” defend Russia’s interests, ordering his government greater support of those who fight and calling on his people to be merciful and just.  “Many of our men, our courageous, heroic guys, Russian warriors, even now, on this […]

Russian Orthodox Church appoints Putin’s spiritual adviser Metropolitan of Crimea

Russia Moscow Russian Orthodox Church Bishop Tikhon

RNS The Russian Orthodox Church has installed one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies as the highest-ranking church leader in Crimea. “His Eminence of Simferopol and Crimea, the head of the Crimean Metropolis is to be His Eminence Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov and Porkhov with his release from the administration of the Pskov Metropolis,” the […]

Fate of historic Sofia church unclear as Bulgaria accuses abbot of spying for Russia

The Russian Church of St Nicholas the Miracle-Maker in Sofia, Bulgaria.

RNS After three high-ranking members of the Russian Orthodox Church were expelled from Bulgaria on charges of espionage last month, their former church is not only at the centre of a diplomatic rift between the Russian and Bulgarian governments but an ecclesiastical one between the two countries’ Orthodox churches.  On 21st September, Bulgarian authorities arrived […]

Russian Patriarch reminds Africans of advantages in following Kremlin’s lead

Patriarch Kirill speaks during the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 27th July, 2023.

RNS Meeting with African leaders late last month, Russian Patriarch Kirill boasted of the continued expansion of the Russian Orthodox Church in their countries, paralleling the strategy of the leaders’ host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, to expand Kremlin influence across the continent. The Moscow Patriarchate said it had almost doubled its size in Africa since […]