Russian police arrest Covid-denier monk in monastery raid | Russia

Russian riot police have stormed a monastery to detain a insurgent monk who has castigated the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox church management and denied the existence of the coronavirus.

Within the in a single day showdown, police clashed with the priest’s supporters on the Sredneuralsk monastery exterior Ekaterinburg within the Ural mountains.

The monk, Father Sergiy, was rapidly flown to Moscow. Authorities charged him with inciting suicidal actions way of sermons through which he urged believers to “die for Russia”. He denied the accusations.

When the virus arrived in Russia early this 12 months, the 65-year-old monk denied its existence and denounced authorities efforts to stem the pandemic as “Devil’s digital camp”. He has described the vaccines being developed towards Covid-19 as a part of a world plot to regulate the lots through chips.

The monk, who has urged followers to disobey the federal government’s lockdown measures, had holed up on the monastery close to Ekaterinburg he based years in the past. Dozens of burly volunteers, together with veterans of the separatist battle in japanese Ukraine, helped implement his guidelines, whereas the prioress and a number of other nuns left.

The monk chastised the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as a “traitor to the Motherland” who was serving a Satanic “world authorities”. He additionally denounced the top of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill, and different prime clerics as “heretics” who should be “thrown out”.

The Russian Orthodox church stripped Father Sergiy of his abbot’s rank for breaking monastic guidelines in July, however he rejected the ruling and ignored police investigators’ summons. Dealing with stiff resistance lots of of his supporters, church officers and native authorities appeared reluctant to evict him for months.

Tons of of Father Sergiy’s supporters continued rallying on the monastery hours after he was taken away, with some weeping.

Father Sergiy, who was born as Nikolai Romanov, served as a police officer throughout Soviet occasions. After leaving the ranks of legislation enforcement, he was convicted of theft and assault and sentenced to 13 years in jail. He joined a church faculty after his launch and later grew to become a monk.

The charismatic priest rapidly grew to become identified for his efforts to open new church buildings and monasteries within the Urals. In his fiery sermons, he denounced alleged plots of the “world authorities” and glorified Russia’s final tsar, Nicholas II, who was killed the Bolsheviks alongside along with his whole household in Ekaterinburg in 1918.

Father Sergiy has been probably the most seen and outspoken of some ultra-conservative clerics who’ve challenged the management of the Russian Orthodox church. Observers have stated the monk’s rebellious actions and now his detention undermine the authority of Patriarch Kirill.

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