From an American Orthodox priest reader living temporarily in Russia:
I wanted to thank you for reporting about the martyred priest Fr. Daniil. I thought you might also be interested to know that there is some thought in the Church here that Fr. Daniil was murdered as a warning to Patriarch Kyrill. The patriarch has been very outspoken about missionary work. He believes that the years since the fall of communism have seen the “restructuring” of the Church here, but now is the time for real mission work, not only making the new Orthodox truly Orthodox (or “churching the people” as he often puts it), but reaching outside the Church to those who are non-Orthodox. He was very supportive of Fr. Daniil and all missionary priests here; openly so and very vocal about it.
So, Fr. Daniil was murdered on the evening of the Patriarch’s birthday as a perverted “gift” to him. By killing one of the most visible and well-known of his missionary priests, they were warning him what the cost would be to him and the Church if missionary work continues.
This is still very much a place where one’s faith has a high cost. A number of friends (and family) have warned me about always wearing my cassock and cross in public, on the subway, on the streets, at the university. But I find that so many people are attracted to a priest and are very sincerely interested in the faith, and have so many questions to ask, that just wearing the cassock in public is “missionary.”