In 1993 the EAOC resumed the continuity of its activity in Estonia: the majority of contemporary Estonian Orthodox congregations belongs to this church. The official representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia is registered in the Church Register as the Stavropigian Alexander Nevski Congregation at Tallinn (founded in 1999). Another Russian Orthodox institution in Estonia is the Pihtitsa Dormant Mother of God’s Stavropigian Monastery at Kuremäe (founded in 1891).

The 1917 Revolution ended tsarist rule in Russia, and in 1920 Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow gave the Estonian Orthodox congregations autonomy. Estonian Orthodox believers formed the Estonian Apostolic-Orthodox Church (EAOC) which in 1923 was subordinated to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. After the occupation of Estonia by the Soviets, to facilitate control over the activities of the ministers, the EAOC became a part of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Estonian Apostolic-Orthodox Church retained its historical and juridical continuity in exile during the period of the Soviet rule.

The Orthodox Church, as well as the Roman Catholic Church, are the oldest forms of Christianity in Estonia, but Estonians did not join the Orthodoxy in great numbers until the middle of the 19th century. Then the prime inducements for peasants to convert was the tsarist policy of Russification and the hope that along with ‘tsar’s faith’ one would be given land.

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