Moscow (AP)-Russian riot police stormed into a monastery on Tuesday and detained a rebellious monk. He condemned the leaders of the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church and denied the existence of the coronavirus.
In an all-night showdown, the police clashed with supporters of the priest at the Sredneuralsk Monastery on the outskirts of Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains.
The monk Father Sergiy was quickly sent to Moscow, and the court approved his arrest. The authorities accused him of inciting suicide through sermons, and he urged believers to “die for Russia.”
The investigation committee of Russia’s top investigative agency said that Father Sergi faces other criminal charges related to his alleged actions to control the monastery.
When the virus arrived in Russia at the beginning of this year, the 65-year-old monk denied its existence and condemned the government’s efforts to stop the epidemic, calling it “Satan’s electronic camp.” He described a vaccine developed against COVID-19 as part of a global plan to control the masses through chips.
The monk had urged his followers to disobey the government’s blockade measures, but he hid in the monastery near Yekaterinburg that he founded many years ago. Dozens of burly volunteers, including veterans of the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, helped implement his regulations, while the convent dean and several nuns left.
The monk condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “traitor of Satan” who was serving Satan’s “world government”. He also condemned Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, and other senior priests as “heretics” and must be “pushed out.”
The Russian Orthodox Church violated the monastery decree in July and deprived Father Sergei of his position as abbot, but he rejected the ruling and ignored the subpoena from the police investigator. Faced with severe resistance from hundreds of his supporters, church officials and local authorities seemed unwilling to deport him for several months.
After he was taken away, hundreds of supporters continued to gather in the monastery.Cried
Sergiy’s father was born as Nikolai Romanov and worked as a police officer in the Soviet Union. After leaving the law enforcement team, he was convicted of murder, robbery and assault and sentenced to 13 years in prison. After his release, he joined a church school and later became a monk.
The charismatic priest quickly became famous for his efforts to open new churches and monasteries in the Urals. In a fierce sermon, he condemned the so-called “world government” conspiracy and honored the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in Bolkavik and his family in 1918. .
Father Sergi is the most embodying and outspoken among the few ultra-conservative pastors who challenge the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church. Observers say that the monk’s rebellious actions and the current detention have undermined the authority of Patriarch Kirill.
In another sign of tensions within the church, a church group ruled on Tuesday to disband the liberal theologian Protodeacon Andrei Kurayev, who has been actively expressing his views online. Kulayev lamented the verdict as a punishment for sharing opinions that sometimes differ from the official position of the Moscow bishop.