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Estonian Orthodox church

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Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


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eastern orthodox missions were active among the Estonians of the south-east regions of the country, closest to Pskov, in the tenth to twelfth centuries. In 1030 Yuryev, or Tartu, was founded as a Russian trading centre around an Orthodox cathedral dedicated to St George. The Orthodox were later expelled from this city by the Germans, who martyred the priest Isidor and a number of Orthodox faithful in 1472. This group is commemorated on 8 January. The Estonian Orthodox church emerged as an autonomous body after the 1917 revolution. Plato Kulbusch, the first hierarch of Estonia, was martyred with his deacon, Dorin, and many others by the Bolsheviks in 1919. Bishop Plato and companions are commemorated on 14 January. The Estonian Orthodox church established links with the constantinople patriarchate and was granted autonomy within the patriarchate in 1923. This provoked a split among the Russian Orthodox of the country. The famous Pechery monastery was the spiritual centre for all the Orthodox of Estonia during the inter-war period. Changes in borders after 1940 transferred the region to Russia. Before 1940 there were around 210,000 Orthodox Christians in Estonia. During the Second World War, the Soviet invasion of 1940 returned the church to the patriarchate of Moscow, but in 1942–4 autonomy under the Constantinople patriarchate was revived. Metropolitan Alexander Paulus led many ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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