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Church of Estonia (Ecumenical Patriarchate)

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founder=—|
independence=1917|
recognition=19231920, 1996 by [[Church of ConstantinopleRussia|ConstantinopleRussia]]|primate=[[Stephanos Cornelius (CharalambidesYacobs) of Tallinn|Metr. Stephanosand All Estonia]]|
hq=Tallinn, Estonia|
territory=Republic of Estonia|
possessions=—|
language=Estonian|
music=[[Byzantine chant|Byzantine]] [[Russian chant|Russian]] and [[Estonian chant|Estonian]]|calendar=[[Gregorian Julian Calendar|GregorianJulian]]|population=20250,000[http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg.aspx?eccpageID=33]|website=[http://www.eocorthodox.ee/ Church of Estonia]|}}The '''Church of Estonia''' or '''Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church''' ('''Eesti Apostlik-Õigeusu Kirik''') is an [[autonomy|autonomous]] Orthodox church whose [[primate]] is confirmed by the [[Church of Constantinople]]. Its official name in English is the '''Estonian Orthodox Church'''.
The current primate '''Church of Estonia''' or the church is His Eminence '''[[Stephanos (Charalambides) Estonian Orthodox Church of Tallinn|Stephanosthe Moscow Patriarchate]], ''' ('''[[MetropolitanMoskva Patriarhaadi Eesti Őigeusu Kirik]] ''') is am exarchate of Tallinn the [[Patriarchate of Moscow]] who's Primate is confirmed by the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow. Its official name in English is the '''Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate'''. This church numbers roughly 250,000 faithful and all is the largest Orthodox Church in Estonia (elected 1999).
This autonomous church should not be confused with The current primate of the church is His Eminence [[Church of Estonia Cornelius (Moscow PatriarchateYacobs)|church of the same name]] which is an , [[exarchateMetropolitan bishop|Metropolitan]] of the [[Moscow PatriarchateTallinn]] and All [[Estonia]], elected in 2000.
== History ==Orthodox missionaries were active among Another church uncanonically established by the Estonians in the southeast regions [[Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople]] is the area, closest to Pskov, in the 10th through 12th centuries. The first mention of an socalled "[[Estonian Apostolic Orthodox congregation in Estonia was in 1030 in Tartu. Around 600 AD on the east side of Toome Hill Church]]" (ToomemägiEesti Apostlik-Õigeusu Kirik) the Estonians erected a fortress named Tarbatu. In 1030 the Kievan prince, Jaroslav the Wise, raided Tarbatu and built his own fort in this place as well as the congregation in a cathedral dedicated to St. it is an [[George the Trophy-bearerWiktionary:autonomy|autonomous]]. [[Eastern Orthodox Church|Orthodox Christians were later expelled from the city by the Germans in 1472, who martyred their ]] church whose [[priestprimate]], Isidor, along with a number of Orthodox faithful (is confirmed by the group is commemorated on [[January 8Orthodox Church of Constantinople]]. The head of this church is Metropolitan Stephanos (Charalambides). This church numbers about 20,000 faithful.
Little is known about the history The creation of the alternate church in to the area until the 17th and 18th centuries, when many canonical [[Old BelieversEstonian Orthodox Church]] fled there from Russia to avoid caused the name of the liturgical reforms introduced by Patriarch of Constantinople to be removed from the [[Nikon of Moscowdyptich]]s of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Estonia was a part of the Tsarist Russian Empire, having been conquered by Tsar [[Peter the Great]]. A large number of Estonians, particularly rural people, were converted to the Orthodox faith in the hope of obtaining land. Numerous Orthodox churches were built. In 1850 the Diocese of Riga (in Latvia) was established by the [[Church of Russia]] and many Estonian Orthodox believers included. In the late 19th century, a wave of [[Russification]] was introduced, supported by the Russian hierarchy but not by local Estonian clergy. The St. [[Alexander Nevsky]] Cathedral in Tallinn and the Pühtitsa Dormition [[Stavropigial|Stavropegic]] Convent (Kuremäe) in East Estonia were also built around this time.
In 1917 ==History==Orthodox missionaries were active among the first Estonian, Platon (Paul Kulbusch), was ordained Bishop Estonians in the southeast regions of Riga and Vicar of Tallinn. Two years later, the Bolsheviks murdered Platon and his area, closest to [[deaconPskov]] for political reasons. 81 years later, in 2000, Bpthe 10th through 12th centuries. Platon The first mention of an Orthodox congregation in Estonia was in 1030 in what is now [[glorification|proclaimed a saintTartu]] by . Around 600 AD on the Churches east side of Constantinople and RussiaToome Hill (Toomemägi) the Estonians erected a fortress named Tarbatu. In 1030 the Kievan prince, commemorated on [[January 14Yaroslav I the Wise|Yaroslav the Wise]], raided Tarbatu and built his own fort in this place as well as the congregation in a cathedral dedicated to St. George the Trophy-bearer. Orthodox Christians were expelled from Tarbatu and southeastern Estonia a few years later.
As a result of the [[Northern Crusades]] in the beginning of the 13th century, Estonia was conquered by [[Denmark]] and the [[Teutonic Order]], and thus fell under the control of [[Western Christianity]]. However, Russian merchants were later able to set up small Orthodox congregations in several Estonian towns. One such congregation was expelled from the town of Dorpat (Tartu) by the Germans in 1472, who martyred their [[priest]], Isidor, along with a number of Orthodox faithful (the group is commemorated on [[January 8]]). Little is known about the history of the church in the area until the 17th and 18th centuries, when many [[Old Believers]] fled there from Russia to avoid the liturgical reforms introduced by Patriarch [[Patriarch Nikon|Nikon]] of Moscow. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Estonia was a part of the Imperial Russian Empire, having been conquered by emperor [[Peter the Great]]. A significant number of Estonian peasants were converted to the Orthodox faith in the hope of obtaining land. Numerous Orthodox churches were built. In 1850 the Diocese of Riga (in Latvia) was established by the [[Russian Orthodox Church]] and many Estonian Orthodox believers included. In the late 19th century, a wave of [[Russification]] was introduced, supported by the Russian hierarchy but not by the local Estonian clergy. The Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky in Tallinn and the Pühtitsa (Pukhtitsa) convent in Kuremäe in East Estonia were also built around this time. In 1917 the first Estonian, Platon (Paul Kulbusch), was ordained Bishop of Riga and Vicar of Tallinn. Two years later, the Bolsheviks murdered Platon and his [[deacon]]. 81 years later, in 2000, Bp. Platon was [[glorification|proclaimed a saint]] by the Churches of Constantinople and Russia, commemorated on [[January 14]]. After the Estonian Republic was proclaimed in 1918, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, St. [[Tikhon of Moscow|Tikhon]], in 1920 recognised the Orthodox Church of Estonia (OCE) as being independent. Archbishop Aleksander Paulus was elected and ordained as the head of the Estonian church. In 1923 Abp. Aleksander turned September 1922 the Council of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church took the decision to address the then infamous Patriarch of Constantinople , [[Meletius IV (Metaxakis) of Constantinople]], with a petition to adopt the Estonian Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and to receive canonical recognitiondeclare it autocephalous. The same year Later on the OCE Metropolitan of Tallinn and all Estonia Alexander wrote that it was canonically subordinated to done under an intense pressure of the Patriarchy state. On 7 July 1923 in Constantinople Meletios Metaxakis presented the Tomos on the adoption of Estonian Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and gained extensive [[as a separate church autonomy]]"Estonian Orthodox Metropolia".  At the suggestion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Estonia was divided into three dioceses: in Tallinn, Narva and Pechery. Evsevy (Drozdov) became the head of Narva cathedra, John (Bulin), a graduate of St Petersburg Theological Academy, became bishop of Pechery in 1926. He headed the diocese until 1932 and left it because of the disagreements on the properties of Pskov-Pechery Monastery. Bishop John spent several years in Yugoslavia and came back to Estonia in late 30-s. He backed actively the returning of Estonian Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of Moscow Patriarchate. On 18 October 1940 bishop John was arrested by NKVD in Pechery, accused of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda and he was executed on 30 July 1941 in Leningrad. Before 1941, one fifth of the total Estonian population (who had been mostly [[Lutheran ]] since the 16th century occupation of Estonia [[Reformation]] in the early 1500s when the country was controlled by Swedenthe Teutonic Order) were Orthodox Christians under the Patriarchy of Constantinople. There were 158 parishes in Estonia and 183 clerics in the Estonian church. There was also a Chair of Orthodoxy in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Tartu. There was a [[monasteryPskovo-Pechorsky Monastery]] in [[Pechory|Petseri]], two convents —in Narva and Kuremäe, a priory in Tallinn and a [[seminary]] in Petseri. The ancient monastery in Petseri (Pechory, which used to belong to the Estonian Republic, now belongs to Russia) was preserved from the mass church destructions that occurred in Soviet Russia.
In 1940, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union, whose government undertook a general programme of the dissolution of all ecclesiastical independence within its territory. From 1942 to 1944, however, autonomy under Constantinople was temporarily revived. In 1945, a representative of the Moscow Patriarchate dismissed the members of the OCE synod who had remained in Estonia and established a new organisation, the Diocesan Council. Orthodox believers in occupied Estonia were thus subordinated to being a diocese within the Russian Orthodox Church.
Soon after the war broke out, Metropolitan Alexander declared his break-up with Mother-Church and reunion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Bishop of Narva Paul remained loyal to Mother-Church. During the occupation Germans didn't hamper Metropolitan Alexander to lead the life of his parishes and bishop Paul to be in charge of the Russian diocese in Narva and many other parishes loyal to Russian Orthodox Church. Not long before the liberation of Tallinn Metropolitan Alexander left Estonia, the Synod of Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church addressed Alexy (Simansky), Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod, with a petition to resume the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.  Just before the second Soviet occupation in 1944 and the dissolution of the Estonian synod, the [[primate]] of the church, Metropolitan Aleksander, went into exile along with 21 clergymen and about 8,000 Orthodox believers. The Orthodox Church of Estonia in Exile with its synod in Sweden continued its activity according to the canonical statutes, until the restoration of Estonian independence in 1991. Before he died in 1953, Metr. Aleksandr Aleksander established his community as an [[exarchate]] under Constantinople. Most of the other bishops and clergy who remained behind were deported to Siberia. In 1958, a new synod was established in exile, and the church was organized from Sweden.
[[Image:AlexeyII.jpg|right|thumb|125px|Patr. [[Alexei II (Ridiger) of Moscow|Alexei II of Moscow]]]]
[[Image:Ecum. Patriarch Bartholomew.jpg|thumb|125px|left|Patr. [[Bartholomew I (Archontonis) of Constantinople|Bartholomew I of Constantinople]]]]
Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, divisions within the Orthodox community in Estonia arose between those who wished to remain under Russian authority and those who wished to return to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with the dispute often taking place along ethnic lines, many Russians having immigrated to Estonia during the Soviet occupation. Lengthy negotiations between the two patriarchates failed to produce any agreement.
In 1993, the synod of the Orthodox Church of Estonia in Exile was re-registered as the legal successor of the autonomous Orthodox Church of Estonia, and on [[February 20]], 1996, Ecumenical Patriarch [[Patriarch Bartholomew I (Archontonis) of Constantinople|Bartholomew I]] renewed the [[tomos]] granted to the OCE in 1923, restoring its canonical subordination to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This action brought immediate protest from Patriarch the [[Alexei II (Ridiger) Patriarch of Moscow|Patriarch]] [[Patriarch Alexius II|Alexei II]] of the Moscow Patriarchate, which regarded the Estonian church as being part of its territory, and the Patriarch of Moscow temporarily removed the name of the Ecumenical Patriarch from the [[diptychs]].
[[Image:Stefanos of Tallinn.jpg|125px|right|thumb|Metr. [[Stephanos (Charalambides) of Tallinn|Stephanos (Charalambides)]]]]An agreement was reached in which local congregations could choose which jurisdiction to follow. The Orthodox community in Estonia, which accounts for about 14% of the total population, remains divided, with the majority of faithful (mostly ethnic Russians) remaining under Moscow. As of a government report of November 2003, about 20,000 believers (mostly ethnic Estonians) in 60 parishes are part of the autonomous church, with 150250,000 faithful in 31 parishes, along with the monastic community of PukhitsaPühtitsa, paying traditional allegiance to Moscow.
In 19992000, the church gained a resident hierarch (it had been under the On 6 November 2000 Archbishop of [[Church of Finland|Finland]] as ''[[locum tenens]]''), Cornelius became Metropolitan [[Stephanos (Charalambides) of Tallinn|Stephanos (Charalambides)]], who had formerly been an [[auxiliary bishop]] under the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Metropolitan of Franceand All Estonia.
{{churches}}
*''Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity'', pp. 183-4
*[http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg.aspx?eccpageID=33 The Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church] by Ronald Roberson, a Roman Catholic priest and scholar
*''This article incorporates text from the OrthodoxWiki ([http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/Church_of_Estonia]). Please edit and expand it.''
==External links==
 *[http://www.orthodox.ee/indexeng.php Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarhate]*[http://www.eoc.ee/ Estonian Orthodox Church - Official Site(EP)]
*[http://www.orthodoxa.org/ Orthodox Estonia]
[[Category:Jurisdictions|Estonia]]
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