Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church

Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church

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Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church

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Description:
The Church of Estonia or Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church (Eesti Apostlik-Õigeusu Kirik) is an autonomous Orthodox church whose primate is confirmed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Under Estonian law it is the legal successor to the pre–World War II Estonian Orthodox Church, which in 1940 had had over 210,000 faithful, three bishops, 156 parishes, 131 priests, 19 deacons, two monasteries, and a theological seminary, the majority of the faithful were ethnic Estonians. Its official name in English is the Estonian Orthodox Church.

The current primate of the church is Stephanos, Metropolitan of Tallinn and all Estonia, elected in 1999.

History

Orthodox missionaries from Novgorod and Pskov were active among the Estonians in the southeast regions of the area, closest to Pskov, in the 10th through 12th centuries. The first mention of an Orthodox congregation in Estonia was in 1030 in what is now Tartu. Around 600 AD on the east side of Toome Hill (Toomemägi) the Estonians established the town Tarbatu. In 1030, the Kievan prince, Yaroslav the Wise, raided Tarbatu and built his own fort called Yuriev, as well as (allegedly) a congregation in a cathedral dedicated to his patron saint, St. George. The congregation may have survived until 1061, when, according to chronicles, Yuriev was burned and the Orthodox Christians expelled.

As a result of the Northern Crusades in the beginning of the 13th century, Northern Estonia was conquered by Denmark and the southern...
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