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Priest arrested for anti-war sermon in Russia

by Donna Birrell

It's been reported that a priest who gave an anti-war sermon in Russia yesterday has been arrested and is due to appear in court later this week.

Father Ioann Burdin is said to have been detained shortly after giving the sermon to a small congregation in the town of Karabanovo. 

He's believed to have also shared anti-war images and a petition on the parish's website.

According to the Telegraph, Father Burdin, of the Resurrection Church in Russia’s western Kostroma region faces charges of  “discrediting” the Russian army.

A police report quoted by Media Zona said he had told parishioners about “Russian troops in Ukraine shelling the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv and killing citizens of Ukraine - brothers and sisters in Christ.” 

A message on the parish’s website read :

“We, Christians, cannot stand idly by when a brother kills brother, a Christian kills a Christian,” it said.
“Let’s not repeat the crimes of those who hailed Hitler’s deeds on Sept 1, 1939.”

Last week more than 270 Russian Orthodox priests and deacons signed an open letter appealing for reconciliation and an immediate ceasefire in the war.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, who did not sign the letter, is seen as subservient to the regime in Moscow and a friend to President Putin.

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