2019-11-29 18:31:00

Russian Patriarch Kirill invited to Estonia by country's Lutheran leader

Tallinn, November 29, Interfax - The leader of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Archbishop Urmas Viilma met the Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill in Moscow on Friday and invited him to Estonia.

"The archbishop reiterated an earlier invitation by Estonia to visit our country, which the patriarch has accepted with gratitude," the press service of the Lutheran Church said.

The archbishop's Moscow visit is reciprocating Patriarch Kirill's trip to Estonia in 2013, Tallinn said.

"The meeting with Patriarch Kirill took place in a warm atmosphere and was awaited by both sides," the archbishop said.

"Patriarch Kirill acknowledged the historical work of the Lutheran Church and thanked it for preserving common values. Both the churches are doing everything they can for freedom of religion and Christian values to be taken into account within a society," Viilma said.

The patriarch had warned against the invasion by secularism as a new ideology, the archbishop said, noting that signs of this trend were also appearing in Estonia.

"If secularism gets a religious worldview, the religious neutrality of the state will be in jeopardy," he said.

The archbishop presented the patriarch with a stained glass panel by Dolores Hoffmann, depicting Madonna and Child. It is a symbol of Estonia as Maarjamaa (the land of Virgin Mary) "uniting Christian Churches in the love for the Mother of God."