Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 50

As Metropolitan Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church recently suggested, the Russian Orthodox Church/Moscow Patriarchy seeks to perpetuate in newly independent countries a jurisdiction inherited from the former USSR. Father Gleb Yakunin, chairman of the Committee to Defend Freedom of Conscience in Russia, predicts that Orthodox Churches in Ukraine and other former Soviet republics will follow the Estonian example and seek to pass under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchy in order to gain independence from the Moscow Patriarchy. Yakunin told a Moscow news conference that the Estonian move, vehemently resisted by the Russian Church, had in fact restored the rights of a church "suppressed by the Soviet occupation." He observed that the Moscow Patriarchy was seeking to forestall the loss of control over Orthodox churches in newly independent states by "deliberately presenting the problem as political, under the guise of protecting the rights of ethnic Russians." (12)

Awaiting NATO’s Enlargement.