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23 Dec, 2009 17:35

Orthodox priest murdered near Moscow

Beneficiary of the Cathedral of the Ascension of Satino-Russkoe village in Moscow region archpriest Aleksandr Filippov was shot dead on Tuesday evening in the doorway of his apartment building.

The widow of the priest says he was murdered after he had admonished people trying to relieve themselves in the entrance of the multi-storey flat building he lived in.

Criminals shot him in his back when he was opening his apartment door. The priest was wearing casual clothes, not a cassock.

One suspect has been detained – 39-year-old Oleg Shekhov, who has already served a prison term for a murder.

The investigation ruled that Shekhov and two his acquaintances were drunk when the crime happened. Shekhov allegedly picked up a shell casing after the shooting and fled from the crime scene.

Just a month ago another Orthodox priest, Father Daniil Sysoyev, was shot dead by a masked man in St. Thomas Church during the conclusion of a service. The choirmaster was also wounded in the shooting.

Sysoyev was well-known for his controversial missionary work with Islamic immigrants. Investigators suspect religious hatred could have been a motive for the killing.