Anti-Is­lam Or­tho­dox priest shot dead in Moscow church

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

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

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