Anti-Islam Orthodox priest shot dead in Moscow church
MOSCOW: A Russian Orthodox priest who was an outspoken critic of both Islam and ultra-nationalist groups was shot dead in his Moscow church by a masked man, investigators said yesterday.
Daniil Sysoyev, a wellknown figure who appeared on television talk shows and published a blog, had received threats over his extensive missionary work among Muslims in what was a highly unusual activity for a Russian priest.
“An unknown man in a mask walked in and fired no less than four shots at the priest of the church,” prosecution investigators said.
The killer also wounded the choirmaster, Vladimir Strelbitsky. The priest died of his wounds in the ambulance after the shooting late on Thursday.
The man walked into Saint Thomas’s church in southern Moscow and asked for Sysoyev by name, chief investigator Anatoly Bagmet said.
The murder was most likely committed for religious reasons, Bagmet added.
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill warned against placing the blame on any group while the investigation continues.
Sysoyev received several threats from Muslims, according to a statement on the website of the missionary training centre he founded. – Sapa-AFP