RELIGIOUS LEADER CHARGED ON ARTICLE FROM "YAROVAYA PACKAGE" FOR FIRST TIME IN ST. PETERSBURG
Fontanka, 29 August 2016
Fontanka has learned that on 27 August, in the Frunze district, police officers took to the department a representative of the Reformed Orthodox Church of Christ the Savior (Kiev archdiocese), Sergei Zhuravlev. The man, who is a resident of St. Petersburg, spends a great portion of his time in Ukraine, where he preaches and conducts missionary activity. Zhuravlev said in social networks that personnel of the Frunze Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs arrested him in the local Messianic Jewish congregation, where he was delivering a sermon: "I was taken to No. 5 police department of Frunze district of our northern capital and held for several hours. Interrogation, unjust accusations, police report. . . . On Monday they promised to inform on which day my trial will be held. It turns out that I am being accused of violating the recent 'Yarovaya Laws,' as I understood. The police said that I allegedly am engaged in illegal missionary activity here."
The chief directorate of the MVD for St. Petersburg and province confirmed that a violation of administrative law was identified on 27 August, in connection with which the citizen was held administratively accountable. An administrative police report was composed regarding him on the basis of article 5.26 of the Russian Code of Administrative Violations of Law ("Violation of legislation on freedom of conscience and freedom of religious confession and on religious associations"). This article appeared in the code after the adoption of amendments introduced by State Duma deputy Yarovaya.
The administrative case was sent to court for consideration. The citizen was released on his own recognizance.
We note that the Reformed Orthodox Church (Kiev archdiocese), according to information in news media, supports the activity of the "Right Sector" that is officially banned on the territory of the RF. (tr. by PDS, posted 31 August 2016)
HEAD OF UKRAINIAN REFORMED ORTHODOX CHURCH ARRESTED IN ST. PETERSBURG
RIA Novosti, 29 August 2016
St. Petersburg police detained the head of the Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church, Sergei Zhuralev, during a time when he was preaching illegally, RIA Novosti was told at the regional chief directorate of the MVD.
The police held the detainee administratively accountable, and a police report based on article 5.26 of the Russian Code of Administrative Violations of Law was sent to a magistrate court for consideration, the agency's representative said. He said that Zhuravlev was released from the police department on his own recognizance.
Earlier Zhuravlev himself wrote about the incident on his own VKontakte page. He said that on Saturday, 27 August, "I prayed and sang psalms" in the Lutheran church of Sts. Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospect. Then, on the same day in the evening, Zhuravlev writes, he preached in a Jewish congregation.
"In the evening I visited the local Messianic Jewish congregation. I shared the Word of God, but the sermon turned out to be rushed because of the police who arrived at the service and an abrupt end to the meeting, alas. I was taken to the police department No. 5 of Frunze district of our northern capital and I was held for several hours," Zhuravlev wrote.
Law from the "Yarovaya Package"
Part 4 of article 5.26 of the Russian Code of Administrative Violations of Law—conducting missionary activity with violation of the requirements of legislation on freedom of conscience and freedom of religious confession and on religious associations—was introduced by federal law No. 374-FZ of 6 July 2016. Its violation incurs the assessment of an administrative fine of a citizen of from 5,000 to 50,000 rubles and of a legal entity, of from 100 thousand to one million rubles.
RIA Novosti was told by the secretary of the Evangelism Department of the St. Petersburg diocese of the RPTsMP, Valeriya Rychkova, that until 1996 Zhuravlev was a priest in the Briansk diocese and back then he often showed "Pentecostal tendencies."
In 2001, after removal from ministry, Zhuravlev was "ordained for apostolic service" by the head of the Ukrainian totalitarian sect "God's Embassy," the Nigerian native Sunday Adelaja. Then Zhuravlev himself organized two "churches": the Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church and the Reformed Orthodox Church of Christ the Savior.
Rychkova said that Zhuravlev presents himself as a typical leader of a charismatic sect and he employs in his "preaching" techniques of subconscious intervention. (tr. by PDS, posted 31 August 2016)
UKRAINIAN SCHISMATIC FACES FINE UP TO 50 THOUSAND RUBLES IN PETERSBURG FOR DISCREDITING RUSSIAN CHURCH
Interfax-Religiia, 29 August 2016
The archbishop of the so-called Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church, Russian citizen Sergei Zhuravlev, was held accountable in St. Petersburg for preaching that discredits the Russian Orthodox Church.
"I was taken to No. 5 police department of Frunze district of our northern capital and held for several hours. Interrogation, unjust accusations, police report. . . . On Monday they promised to inform on which day my trial will be held. It turns out that I am being accused of violating the recent 'Yarovaya Laws,' as I understood. The police said that I allegedly am engaged in illegal missionary activity here," S. Zhuravlev wrote in his blog on Saturday.
Meanwhile a source in law enforcement agencies told Interfax that S. Zhuravlev's public statements attracted the attention of law enforcement personnel, since they contained expressions inflaming hatred toward the Russian Orthodox Church.
"He preached in St. Petersburg and this was regarded as a violation of the 'Yarovaya Law.' One can, if one wishes, see in his sermons a definite inflaming of negativity against the Russian Orthodox Church. He had ties with people who are considered members of the 'Right Sector,' which is prohibited in the RF. It is premature to talk about anything more serious. It cannot be said that he summoned people to the barricades," a source in law enforcement agencies told Interfax.
The news agency's interlocutor noted that documents regarding the case of S. Zhuravlev have been sent to magistrate's court. The man faces a fine of up to 50 thousand rubles.
The Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church is an uncanonical religious organization of "alternative Orthodoxy" with renovationist and charismatic elements. According to information from public sources, it is administered by S. Zhuravlev. (tr. by PDS, posted 31 August 2016)
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