Daniel Sysoev

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Father Daniil Sysoev was a young priest of the Church of Russia who was martyred in his church in southern Moscow by a Muslim fanatic during November 2009.

Fr. Daniil, who born in 1974, was a married priest of the Russian Orthodox Church and rector of St. Thomas' church in southern Moscow. He 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. Daniil became known for his active missionary work, particularly among non-Orthodox, 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.

His initiatives included other non-Orthodox communities. Fr. Daniil was noted for promoting a number of cultural and religious initiatives among Chinese students in Russia. [1]

On November 19, 2009, he was killed in his church by a Muslim fanatic, who shot him four times.[2] During the last 19 years Fr. Daniil became the twenty fifth Orthodox priest murdered in Russia.

Later, in December 2009, a militant Islamic group based in the North Caucasus took credit for the murder of Fr. Daniil. According to a statement made by Russian Islamists and released on kavkazcentre.com:

"One of our brothers who has never been to the Caucases took up the oath of (former independent Chechen president Doku Umarov) and expressed his desire to execute the damned Sysoyev"[3]

Patriarch Kyrill I of Moscow called Fr. Daniil a confessor of the faith and a martyr for the cause of evangelical preaching.[4]


  1. AsiaNews.it. Orthodox missionaries for Chinese students in Moscow. April 15, 2010.
  2. Sophia Kishkovsky. Russian Priest Killed in Church. The New York Times. November 19, 2009.
  3. Islamists claim killing of Russian priest. AFP. Dec. 25, 2009.
  4. Patriarch Cyril calls the priest Daniel Sysoeva confessor and martyr of the faith. Interfax-Religion. November 20, 2009.


The missionary movement associated with Fr Daniil Sysoyev (“Prophet Daniil movement”) is promoting a number of cultural and religious initiatives among Chinese students in Russia.