Masked gunman kills Russian priest at Moscow church

November 20, 2009


(Photo: Russian Orthodox church in Moscow, 1 July 2009/Sergei Karpukhin)

A masked gunman entered a Moscow church and murdered a Russian Orthodox priest who had received death threats for converting Muslims to Christianity and criticizing Islam, prosecutors and church officials said Friday.  The killing could threaten delicate relations between the powerful majority Russian Orthodox Church, which has close ties to the Kremlin, and the country’s growing Muslim minority of about 20 million.

The gunman approached priest Daniil Sysoyev, 34, in St Thomas Church in southern Moscow Thursday night, checked his name and then opened fire with a pistol, a spokesman for the investigating committee of the Prosecutor-General’s office said.

Sysoyev was from Tatarstan, a predominantly Muslim region of Russia on the Volga river. He was threatened after preaching to Muslims and Christians from other denominations. “I have received 10 threats via e-mail that I shall have my head cut off (if I do not stop preaching to Muslims),” Sysoyev stated on a television program in February 2008, according to Interfax. “As I see it, it is a sin not to preach to Muslims.”

“Islam is far from being a religion in the way we understand it,” he said in one of his video lectures posted on YouTube (here in Russian). “Islam can be rather compared with projects like National Socialism or the Communist party seeking to create God’s kingdom on Earth using humanly instruments,” he added.

Read the whole story here. See also Interfax ReligionRIA Novosti (with picture)

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This is exactly what happens when government doesn’t reign in religious torch bearers who indulge in fanatic acts inspired by unknown… All misery in world is due to religious torch bearers of two religions Islam and Christianity

Posted by The Bitter Pill | Report as abusive

It certainly does not make Islam look good at all. According to the faith of Islam a human being does not have the right to decide for himself what is and is not correct. At least this is the image being given to the world.In effect this gunman has confirmed that if a person chooses to decide for themselves that Islam is not for them, then they must be killed. And anyone who brings knowledge alternative to Islam must also be killed.Anyone who blesses death, and condones killing is not a child of God. That one is a child of the prince of this world. Those that call themselves clerics or teachers and bless the killing of others are false teachers. True Muslims know that we are all brothers in this world. But they keep silent, and this is their sin. If Allah (God) gives people the freedom to choose for themselves (free will), then by what authority do Muslim clerics and fundamentalists kill those opposed to their religious views?When the word of God is perverted by false profits and teachers the people suffer immensely. False teachers are a curse to human kind. They lead those seeking to better themselves into a world of suffering and spiritual slavery. But as they pervert the word they too will suffer from it. May their suffering be long and passionate

Posted by Benny Acosta | Report as abusive

Mr. Bitter Pill, yours is the worst kind of moral equivalency. Lumping the victim who used persuasion with the murder who used force. You are apparently as closed minded as the gunman.May God bless Father Sysoyev.

Posted by John McNeill | Report as abusive

Assalaamu Alaikum. My condolences to the family, friends and devotees of Father Sysoyev. His cold blooded murder is inexcusable. God teaches humanity, first trough the Old Testament and again in the Quran that to kill one innocent person is like killing all of humanity. This simile expresses very clearly that murder is a hated crime in Islam. Furthermore, Islam also teaches that there is no compulsion in religion. Thus, if Muslims converted to Christianity it was more so a commentary on their religious experience and perhaps, to a lesser degree, the influence of Father Sysoyev and even the lack of influence by the local Muslim spiritual leaders. Even if the accused gunman thought he was acting in accordance with Islam, the reality is that he was not. His ignorance of his professed faith (in Islam) is something he’ll have to reckon with when he meets his Lord. He will be asked why he ignored one Quranic injunction after the other that exhorted him (as a Muslim) to resist injustice and to face oppression with patience and to promote peace. Knowing that murders will be forced to face justice before God is for me, as a bystander, a source of solace. No doubt this does little to lessen the pain of those closest to Father Sysoyez. Those who will use this as an opportunity to malign Islam are clearly in the wrong. The Quranic exegisis does not support them. The statistics do not support them and history does not support them.

Posted by Junaid M. Afeef | Report as abusive

Lies by Junaid and Others: Wrapping their deeds of crimes in wraps of religion… The Religious torch bearers only get excited by unknown factors and excite people to commit terror… The first man (dead) was terrorising by words the second man was terrorising (killer) the way words could be stopped… Both got inspired by unknown factor… Both are trying to uphold religion… Religious torch bearers are biggest criminals be it from Islam or be it from Christianity… Government should reign in all religious torch bearers with strictures… Things like whipping, stoning etc which are recommended by these religions for any one not listening to religious torch bearer, should be made applicable on religious torch bearers

Posted by The Bitter Pill | Report as abusive

While Jesus, Buddha, Gurus Sikh, Baha’i, & Karl Marx can be compared because teach love & justice.

It is different wih Muhammad.


I don’t believe the prophet likes Muhammad.

Posted by sikebenaran | Report as abusive