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More attacks on Orthodox clergy in Moscow region

26 December 2009

There have been more reports of attacks on Orthodox clergy in the Moscow region. Interfax-Religion:

Three as yet unidentified men have attacked Priest Vitaly Zubkov, who serves in Saint Thomas church in Moscow, where Father Daniil Sysoyev, an outspoken critic of ultra-nationalist groups, was shot dead on November 19, 2009, Father Vitaly told Interfax-Religion.

The priest dressed in a black cassock was going to his church, which is located in Moscow Kantemirovskaya Street, where he was supposed to conduct an overnight vigil, when three unknown men ran up to him and began beating him.

From the same source comes a report of another priest killed in a separate incident, and it notes that 26 Orthodox clergy have been murdered in Russia since 1990: Interfax-Religion:

Archpriest Alexander Filippov, who served at the Ascension Church in the village of Satino-Russkoye in the Podolsk District outside Moscow, has died after being shot in the heart on Tuesday evening, the priest’s widow Yelena told Interfax-Religion.

‘Father Alexander was killed only because he reproached those people who were urinating in an apartment building’s entrance hall,’ she said.

Father Alexander was 39 years old. He had three teenage daughters.

According to the Moscow Patriarchate, the priest’s murderer has already been detained.

It was the second murder of an Orthodox priest in the Moscow area in the past month. Priest Daniil Sysoyev from Moscow’s Saint Thomas Church, who was known for his criticism of nationalist groups, was killed on November 19.

Patriarch Kirill, however, has warned against any attempts to revive the death penalty in Russia, and applauded the Russian Constitutional Court’s decision to abolish capital punishment.

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