Estonian Interior Minister wants Moscow Patriarchate church to be recognised as terrorist organisation

On Thursday, the 11th of April, Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets announced on ETV’s political programme Esimene stuudio plans to propose to the Estonian Parliament to declare the Moscow-based Orthodox Patriarchate a terrorist organisation, stating that the aim is to completely ban the Moscow Patriarchate from operating in Estonia, reports Estonian media ERR.
The proposal is aimed directly at the Moscow Patriarchate, not the Estonian Orthodox Church under it.
At a recent press conference, a spokesperson for the Moscow Patriarchate Estonian Orthodox Church (MPEÕK) explained that the organisation is not directly subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate or Patriarch Kirill, and therefore does not take responsibility for Kirill’s statements supporting Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Läänemets told Esimene stuudio that, based on the information available to his ministry and the assessment carried out by the Internal Security Police, he had no choice as Minister of the Interior but to act

to sever the links between MPEÕK and the Moscow Patriarchate and to declare its activities as terrorism and terrorism supporting.

The aim of this step is to provide legal action to put an end to the organisation’s activities in Estonia, which will not affect local churches and will not lead to the closure of churches.
He justified this proposal on the grounds that the Moscow Patriarchate is under the influence of Vladimir Putin, “who essentially leads terrorist activities globally”.
According to Läänemets, the Estonian Parliament has already taken a similar decision in the past and declared Russia a terrorist state.
Läänemets pointed out that there are various MPEÕK churches in Estonia and that their internal activities are not directly influenced by Moscow, but that the churches’ subordination to Moscow is still a threat to Estonian security, pointing to recent statements by the Moscow Patriarchate saying that Ukrainian territory should become part of Russia.
In Estonia, there are more than 100 000 followers of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Estonian Orthodox Church.
Also read: BNN ANALYSES | Potential runoff opponent for Lithuania’s president Nausėda (if necessary): PM Šimonytė or lawyer Vėgėlė?