Moscow rewards loyal Orthodox leader in Moldova

Putin awarded the the head of the Moldovan church, Metropolitan Vladimir, with Russia’s Order of Friendship, rewarding him for his loyalty to Moscow, Balkan Insight reports. The award closely follows the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to recognize the Ukrainian church’s independence from Moscow. As is currently the case with the Ukrainian church, the Moldovan church is a canonical subordinate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Vladimir has previously displayed loyalty to Moscow by personally leading crusades against Moldovan priests who have a second citizenship (Romanian), even though he himself has double (Moldovan and Russian) citizenship, religious affairs expert Mihai Isac is quoted as saying.


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