Tuesday 29 December 2020
Police storm the occupied monastery
Rebel monk arrested in Russia
Because he describes Corona as a “pseudo-pandemic” and holds services despite the ban, a Russian monk is suspended. The clergyman then occupies a women’s convent. Now armed police storm the complex and arrest the 65-year-old. He is accused of inciting suicide.
He denied Corona, was suspended and then hijacked a women’s monastery: In Russia, a former monk named Sergij has already made headlines several times, now he has been arrested in a sensational action. Armed security forces stormed the monastery not far from the city of Yekaterinburg east of the Ural Mountains during the night, local media reported, citing investigators.
Previously, dozens of supporters of the excommunicated clergyman gathered in front of the occupied monastery and blocked the entrance to the site to prevent the monk’s arrest. There were clashes with the police. Several nuns were slightly injured. Some of Sergiy’s supporters were also arrested. When searching for the 65-year-old, the security forces destroyed parts of the monastery facilities and windows were broken.
“Die for Russia”
One of the reasons behind the arrest: a video showing the Orthodox clergy encouraging followers to “die for Russia”. According to a lawyer, this is seen as incitement to suicide. The ombudsman responsible for children’s rights in the region had approached the public prosecutor’s office because minors were said to have been present at the sermon. Several media also report allegations that children were tortured in the monastery.
The controversial clergyman caused a sensation across the country in the spring when he described Corona as a “pseudo-pandemic” and held services despite the ban. The church then banned him from preaching, which he did not adhere to. Sergij later drove out the superior of the Sredneuralsk convent, which he had once co-founded, and holed up there with supporters. In September he was excommunicated from the Church.