Dissident Orthodox priest taken to court


Interfax-Religiia, 16 October 2020


The Kurgan diocese [of the Russian Orthodox Church—tr.] has declared that news reports about holding one of its parishes accountable for illegal missionary activity do not correspond to reality, inasmuch as they refer to a parish of a schismatic.


"On 13 October 2020, the SOVA Center for News and Analysis, which is listed by the Russian Ministry of Justice as a foreign agent, disseminated unreliable information to the effect that the Holy Trinity parish of the Kurgan diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church had been brought to justice. This article, which does not correspond with reality, was circulated in a number of federal news media," the report on the diocese's website says.


It is explained there that what was actually brought to administrative accountability was the "parish" of V.A. Tishenkov (the false archbishop Varukh), who was assessed a fine of 30,000 rubles.


The diocese notes that at the present time the activity of pseudo-archbishop Varukh is being examined by the prosecutor's office, the police, and the Investigative Committee of Russia.


"Law enforcement agencies have information about holding Tishenkov criminally liable for pedophilia and for other criminal acts by the individual. Therefore all attempts by the false archbishop to justify himself and to convict the Kurgan diocese have crumbled," the notice quotes Metropolitan of Kurgan and Belozero Daniil.


It is recalled also that in June 2020, around 700 residents of the Trans-Urals region sent a collective appeal to Metropolitan Daniil with a request to cooperate in putting an end to the destructive activity of pseudo-archbishop Varukh. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 October 2020)



SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 13 October 2020


In Kurgan, a city court has confirmed the decision of a magistrate court holding an Orthodox parish accountable for illegal evangelism.


On 8 September 2020, the Kurgan city court left without change a decision of a magistrate court of judicial district No. 48 of the judicial region of Kurgan, which on 29 July ordered to hold the Orthodox parish in honor of the Holy Trinity in Kurgan administratively accountable on the basis of part 3 of article 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the RF (conduct by a religious organization of activity without indication of its complete official name, including production or distribution during missionary activity of literature, printed, audio, and video materials without identifying marks indicating the name or with an incomplete or deliberately false identification).


Unfortunately, details have not been reported. It may be assumed that there is reference to a fine.


We note that this is the first case known to us of bringing an Orthodox organization to justice for illegal evangelism.


It was later learned that the Trinity parish that was fined is not within the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 October 2020)

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