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Daniel Sysoev

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Seminarian and Deacon
[[File:DaniilSys.jpg|right|thumb]]The Reverend Father '''Daniel Sysoyev''' (1974-2009) was a young, married [[priest]] of the [[Church of Russia]] who was [[martyr]]ed in his [[church]] in southern Moscow by a [[Muslim ]] fanatic during November 2009.
==Early Life==
Daniel Alekseevich Sysoyev was born on [[January 12]], 1974, to Alexsei Aleksei Nikolaevich Sysoyev and Anna Midkhatovna Amirova, within a family of teachers and artists. He was later baptised on [[October 31]], 1977 in Vorobyovy Hills. He attended church with his family, assisting in the [[altar ]] and in the choir at the church where his father was sacristan. <ref>'''Pravmir'''. [http://www.pravmir.com/article_793.html]</ref>. Later, Aleksei was later [[ordination|ordained]] to the priesthood, and his wife (a Tatar) taught Orthodox catechism.
In the summer of 1988, Daniel helped in restoration work at [[Optina monastery]]. When the church at the former Novoalekseev Monastery began, Daniel sang in the choir. The rector recommended that the young Daniel enter [[Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary|Moscow Theological Seminary]]. This he did, after completing secondary school in 1991. <ref>'''Pravmir'''. [http://www.pravmir.com/article_793.html]</ref>
==Seminarian and Deacon==
Fr Daniel studied in Moscow Theological Seminary<ref>'''Pravoslavie'''. [http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/32949.htm]</ref>, where he had the obedience of choir singer and of leading a mixed choir.
In 1993, he describes the beginning of his [[missionary ]] work on the streets. <ref>'''Pravmir'''. [http://www.pravmir.com/article_793.html]</ref>
He was tonsured [[tonsure]]d a [[reader ]] on [[December 19]], 1994 by Bishop [[Rostislav (Devyatov) of Tomsk|Rostislav of Magadan and Chukotka]], beginning a series of great changes. Rdr Daniel was married to Iulia Mikhailovna Brykina on January 22, 1995, by Fr [[Dionisy Pozdnyaev]]<ref>'''Pravmir'''. [http://www.pravmir.com/article_790.html]</ref>; in May 13, Bishop Evgenii of Verey ordained him as deacon. Dcn Daniel graduated from Moscow Theological Seminary at the top of the class on June 14, 1995, with his first child being born later that year. He subsequently enrolled in the correspondence course of the Moscow Theological Academy, and was assigned to the Bulgarian [[metochion]] church of the Dormition of the All-Holy Mother of God in Gonchary, where he taught the Law of God senior classes of the [[Iasenevo Orthodox Classical Gymnasium]] (high school).
From August 1996, the Patriarch blessed him Rdr Daniel was married to hold missionary Biblical conversations in the Kriutitsy Patriarchal Metochion with people who had suffered from the influence of sects andIulia Mikhailovna Brykina on [[January 22]], later1995, occult activitiesby Fr [[Dionisy Pozdnyaev]]<ref>'''Pravmir'''. [http://www.pravmir.com/article_790. He began work at the Rehabilitation Centre of St John of Kronstadthtml]</ref>; on [[May 13]], under the direction of Hmk Anatoly Bishop [[Eugene (BerestoyReshetnikov)of Vereya|Eugene of Vereya]] ordained him as [[deacon]].
Dcn Daniel graduated from Moscow Theological Seminary at the top of the class on [[June 14]], 1995, with his first child (of three) being born later that year. He subsequently enrolled in the correspondence course of the [[Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary|Moscow Theological Academy]], and was assigned to the Bulgarian [[metochion]] church of the Dormition of the All-Holy Mother of God in Gonchary, Moscow, where he taught the Law of God senior classes of the [[Yasenevo Orthodox Classical Gymnasium]] (high school), and was noted for his strictness in compliance with the [[Typikon]] and canons, which caused some conflict between himself and Archimandrite [[Boris (Dobrev) of Agathonikeia|Boris (Dobrev)]], rector of the metochion at the time. From August 1996, the Patriarch blessed him to hold missionary Biblical conversations in the Kriutitsy Patriarchal Metochion with people who had suffered from the influence of sects and, later, occult activities. He began work at the Rehabilitation Centre of St [[John of Kronstadt]], under the direction of hieromonk [[Anatolius (Berestov)]]. In 1999, Dcn Daniel published his first book, entitled ''The Chronicle of the Beginning'', which was published by [[Sretensky Monastery ]] and dedicated to the patristic doctrine of creation. On [[May 24]], 2000, he was awarded a letter of commendation for teaching by the Department of Religious Education and Catechesis; in June of that year, the council of the Moscow Theological Academy approved his thesis, ''Anthropology and Analysis of the Seventh Day Adventists and the Watchtower Society'', and Dcn Daniel graduated. In the same year, ''Hexaemeron Against Evolution'', edited by Dcn Daniel, was published.
==Priest and Missionary==
In 2001, he was ordained to the priesthood, and his second child was born. He was assigned to the Church of Sts Ss Peter and Paul in Yasenevo, Moscow, where he became secretary of the Shestodnev missionary-educational centre and continuing his work at the St John of Kronstadt centre. Around this time, his anthology on ''Divine Revelation and Contemporary Science'' was published; over his lifetime, he would publish over a dozen articles on creation and anti-sectarian issues. In 2005, the Moscow city government allocated Fr Daniel's community 0.5 hectares (just under 1.25 acres) of land in Kantemirovskiy, Moscow, for the construction of a stone church, dedicated to the [[Prophet Daniel]]. By November 2006, land was cleared of undergrowth and debris by the community, and a small, temporary wooden church was dedicated to the Apostle Thomas. Fr Daniel's [[parish]] aimed to convert non-Christians, mostly non-Russians who resided in Moscow, and was in an ideal location to do this, as Kantemirovskiy distict is the district of many expatriate communities and where many different sects are active. The parish runs missionary courses, singing lessons, [[iconography]] classes and a scout group. Fr Daniel also opened a catechetical school about the basics of Christianity, and ran a successive five-week catechetical course for those who wished to know more about Christianity (whether for [[baptism]] or for interest). In time, a community of Orthodox Tartars (began in 2003) built up, and the information agency of St Akhmet began activity. Fr Daniel's church had initiatives such as an open house, where the church would be open and the priest available for questions. [[Moleben]]s were frequent, particularly for conversion of the non-Orthodox, and also for students at the nearby Moscow Engineering and Physical University. Fr Daniel later began to offer missionary courses, preparing preachers of the [[Gospel]]. In 2009, the parish had some difficulties from the Moscow City Department of Environment Management, due to a change in thought about the use of that allocation of land (changed to a park and nature reserve). Due to popular demand, however, a [[church]] remained a part of the draft General Plan for the area. As rector of St. Thomas' church in southern Moscow, Fr Daniel was a noted missionary, especially among the Muslim, neo-Pagans, and Protestants communities of Russia. As the Orthodox Church in Russia has come around to the importance of missionary work in recent years, Fr. Daniel became known for his active missionary work, particularly among non-Orthodox, and also for his bright polemic performances. He established an active missionary movement, including training Orthodox street preachers. He had especially built a reputation as a priest who stood out for his proselytizing work among Russia’s Muslim community, baptising around eighty Muslims <ref>'''OrthodoxyToday.org'''. [http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2009/11/20/orthodox-priest-who-converted-muslims-murdered-in-russia/]</ref>.
Fr Daniel was soon transferred to be the rector of the Church of the Apostle Thomas, where he initiated a growing community in honour of the Prophet Daniel. One of the goals of this centre was the conversion of His initiatives included other non-Christians, mostly non-Russians. This is particularly the case as the Kantemirovskiy district in Moscow, where the is a district of many expatriate Orthodox communities, and where many different sects are active, including Baptists, Mormons, Adventists and occultists. Until Fr . Daniel came, there was no Orthodox centre. He also opened noted for promoting a catechetical school about the basics number of Christianity, cultural and ran a successive fivereligious initiatives among Chinese students in Russia. <ref>AsiaNews.it. ''[http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Orthodox-missionaries-week catechetical discourses for those who wished to know more about Christianity (for baptism or for interest)-Chinese-students-in-Moscow-18144. In time, a community of html Orthodox Tartars (began missionaries for Chinese students in 2003) built up, and the information agency of St Akhmet began activityMoscow]. Fr Daniel's church had initiatives such as an open house, where the church would be open and the priest available for questions. ' [[MolebenApril 15]]s were frequent, particularly for conversion 2010: ''The missionary movement associated with Fr Daniel Sysoyev '''(“Prophet Daniil movement”)''' is promoting a number of the non-Orthodox, cultural and also for religious initiatives among Chinese students at the nearby Moscow Engineering and Physical University. Fr Daniel later began to offer missionary courses, preparing preachers of the Gospelin Russia.</ref>
As rector of St. Thomas' church in southern Moscow, ==Stances on Contemporary Issues==Fr Daniel was a noted missionary, especially among the Muslim, neo-Pagans, and Protestants communities of Russia. As the Orthodox Church in Russia has come around advised Christians not to the importance of missionary work attend classes in recent years, Fr. Daniel became known for his active missionary work, particularly among non-Orthodox, :* Yoga and also for his bright polemic performances. He had especially built a reputation as a priest who stood out for his proselytizing work among Russia’s Muslim community, baptising around eighty Muslims <ref>'''OrthodoxyToday.org'''. [http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2009/11/20/orthodox-priest-who-converted-muslims-murdered-in-russia/]</ref>.yoga exercises* Karate* Latin American dance* Belly dancing
His initiatives included other nonFr Daniel was also critical of Darwinian evolution. ==Criticism==In 2007, Mufti Nafigulla Ashirov, Co-Orthodox communities. chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia, sued Fr. Daniel was noted in court for promoting his book ''Marriage to a number Muslim'', which, the Mufti said, contained expressions offensive to Muslims. Furthermore, journalist Khalida Khamidulina accused Fr Daniel of inciting hatred of cultural [[Islam]] in his publications and religious initiatives among Chinese students filed a suit in Russiacourt against him. <ref>AsiaNews.it. ''[http://www.asianews.it/news At the same time, neo-nazi groups expressed their displeasure with Fr Daniel’s views, and ultra-en/rightwing Orthodox-missionaries-publications criticised him forhis anti-Chinese-students-in-Moscow-18144monarchist position.html Orthodox missionaries for Chinese students in Moscow In addition, some [[Old Believers|Old Ritualist]]spokesmen believed that he attacked their faith, considering his publications on Old Ritualists as slanderous.'' April 15 They accused him of poor reasoning, faulty judgement, 2010and distortion of historical facts.</ref>
==Martyrdom==
As a result of his preaching, Fr Daniel received death threats constantly<ref>'''OrthodoxyToday'''. [http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2009/11/20/orthodox-priest-who-converted-muslims-murdered-in-russia/ Orthodox priest who converted Muslims murdered in Russia].</ref>. [[October 9]], 2009 in his LJLiveJournal, he made a record: <blockquote>I have news again. Today, you'll laugh, but Muslims once again have promised to kill me. Now by phone. Already tired. The 14-th 14th time. I've got accustomed, but earlier it "strained". And so, God doesn't give - Islam willn't eat.<br/> And so, I ask you all to pray.<ref>[http://pr-daniil.livejournal.com/56054.htmlGood Muslims] <small>''On russian'': А у меня опять новость. Сегодня, вы будете смеяться, но мусульмане опять пообещали меня убить. Теперь уже по телефону. Ну надоело. Уже 14-тый раз. Я уже привык, а то раньше это напрягало. А так Бог не выдаст, ислам не съест.
А так всех прошу помолиться.</small> </ref></blockquote>
On [[November 19]], 2009, between 23:10-23:20, he was killed mortally wounded in his church by a Muslim fanatic, who shot him four times.The killer also heavily wounded the parish’s choir director Vladimir Strelbitsky. An hour later around 12:15am on [[November 20]], Fr. Daniel died on the operating table at a Moscow hospital<ref>Sophia Kishkovsky. [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/20/world/europe/20moscow.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=sysoyev&st=cse Russian Priest Killed in Church]. '''The New York Times'''. November 19, 2009.</ref><ref>[http://www.newsru.com/religy/19nov2009/foma.html В Москве убит настоятель храма Святого Фомы, его помощник ранен]. '''Newsru.com'''. November 20, 2009.</ref> Fr Daniel was 34 years old. During the last 19 years Fr. Daniel became was the twenty fifth Orthodox priest murdered in Russiaafter the fall of the Soviet Union.
Later, in December 2009, a militant Islamic group based in the North Caucasus took credit for the murder of Fr. Daniel. According to a statement made by Russian Islamists and released on kavkazcentre.com:
==Posthumous Acclaim==
Patriarch [[Kyrill I (Gundyayev) of Moscow|Kyrill I of Moscow]] called Fr. Daniel a [[Saint titles|confessor]] of the faith and a [[martyr ]] for the cause of evangelical preaching.<ref>[http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=32981 Patriarch Cyril calls the priest Daniel Sysoeva [[confessor ]] and martyr of the faith].'' '''Interfax-Religion.''' November 20, 2009.</ref> Mother Prosdokia, [[abbess]] of the Ormylia convent in Greece, stated that "it is time to not to pray for Fr Daniel, but to pray to him", expressing that he is a [[saint]]. Many Orthodox in Greece venerate Fr Daniel in a similar manner to those martyred during Turkish occupation of Greece. [http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/sysoyev.htm]
Mother Prosdokia, abbess of ==Publications==* Прогулка протестанта по православному храму (A Walk from the Protestant to the Ormylia convent in GreeceOrthodox church) (Moscow, stated that "it is time to not to pray for Fr Daniel2003, but 144 pages) ISBN 5-94264-009-2* Брак с мусульманином (Marriage to pray to him"a Muslim) (Moscow, expressing that he is a saint. Many Orthodox in Greece venerate Fr Daniel in a similar manner to those martyred during Turkish occupation of Greece. [http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/sysoyev.htm]2006) ISBN 5-98988-007-3
==References==
* [http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=6653 Famous Orthodox priest killed in Moscow]. '''Interfax-Religion'''. November 20, 2009.
* [http://pr-daniil.livejournal.com/ Fr. Daniel's blog in LJ]
* AsiaNews.it. ''[http://wwwru.asianewswikipedia.itorg/news-enwiki/Orthodox-missionaries-for-Chinese-students-in-Moscow%D0%A1%D1%8B%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%B5%D0%B2,_%D0%94%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B8%D0%BB_%D0%90%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87 Russian-18144.html Orthodox missionaries for Chinese students in Moscowlanguage Wikipedia article].'' April 15, 2010.:''The missionary movement associated with Fr Daniel Sysoyev '''(“Prophet Daniil movement”)''' is promoting a number of cultural and religious initiatives among Chinese students in Russia.
[[Category:Priests|Sysoyev, Daniel]]
[[Category:Martyrs|Sysoyev, Daniel]]
[[Category:Orthodoxy and Islam]]
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