add info re 90th anniversary;
[[Image:Tallinn.jpg|right|350px|thumb|Churches in Tallinn, capital of Estonia]]
Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church|
music=[[Byzantine chant|Byzantine]] and [[Estonian chant|Estonian]]|
Gregorian Calendar |Gregorian]]|population= 20,000[http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg.aspx?eccpageID=33]|
website=[http://www.eoc.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 of the church is His Eminence [[Stephanos (Charalambides) of Tallinn|Stephanos]], [[Metropolitan]] of Tallinn and all Estonia (elected 1999).
This autonomous church should not be confused with the [[Church of Estonia (Moscow Patriarchate)|church of the
same name]] which is an [[exarchate]] of the [[Moscow Patriarchate]].
== History ==
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 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 organized from Sweden.
[[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 1999, the church gained a resident hierarch (it had been under the Archbishop of [[Church of Finland|Finland]] as ''[[locum tenens]]''), Metropolitan [[Stephanos (Charalambides) of Tallinn|Stephanos (Charalambides)]], who had formerly been an [[auxiliary bishop]] under the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Metropolitan of France.
*''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
Estonian Orthodox Church - Official Site]
*[http://www.orthodoxa.org/ Orthodox Estonia]