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Sweden’s Security Service says Russian Orthodox Church spies for Kremlin

Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill
Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Sweden’s Security Service says Russian Orthodox Church spies for Kremlin

On 29 February, a Swedish agency for grants for religious institutions said that it would cut support to the Russian Orthodox Church, after the Swedish Security Service warned the representatives of the church “had contacts with individuals working for Russian intelligence services.”

The Russian Orthodox Church has been a tool used by the Kremlin to advance its political interests and infiltrate other countries. It is often accused of hypocrisy by weaponizing faith to undermine democracies while Moscow disregards religious freedom, as per CEPA.

In addition, Sweden emphasized that the Russian Orthodox Church “had received significant funding from the Russian state” and its representatives had acted in a manner that seemed to encourage “support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

According to the Swedish agency for grants, the country’s security service said that the Kremin used the Russian Orthodox Church as a platform for “gathering intelligence and other actions that threaten security.” 

The agency added that a mandatory condition for receiving support for religious communities is their ability to strengthen the fundamental values of society, which is particularly crucial in social crises. However, the Russian Orthodox Church does not meet this requirement due to its actions related to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

It also reminded that Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill supported the Russian aggression. In response to his claims defending war despite countless Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine imposed sanctions on the Russian bishop.

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