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7 Oct, 2020 17:29

Russian monastery run by excommunicated criminal cop-turned-monk under investigation for torture & systematic beating of children

Russian monastery run by excommunicated criminal cop-turned-monk under investigation for torture & systematic beating of children

Russian authorities have opened a child torture criminal case against the Sredneuralsk Convent, an Orthodox Christian community run by the controversial excommunicated monk Sergius. The clergyman already has a murder conviction.

According to Russia's Investigative Committee, seven children were systematically beaten and subjected to other violent acts in the monastery, near Yekaterinburg, between 2004 and 2009. The accused have not been named, and Investigators believe the acts were entirely deliberate, "based on a false understanding of the process of raising minors."

The authorities also allege that the child victims lived permanently in the religious institution due to failings of the country's systems that are meant to protect against abuse of children. Earlier this year, a witness spoke to RT about corporal punishment of minors in the convent. 

Also on rt.com ‘Jesus of Siberia,’ cult leader ‘Vissarion’ found in possession of weapons, cash, jewellery, & adult toys during police raid

Sergius, whose real name is Nikolai Romanov, was banned from preaching on April 27 after he told Russians to visit churches and violate the country's strict self-isolation rules. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, churches in Russia were ordered to close for the safety of parishioners. The cleric also called the coronavirus a "pseudo-pandemic.”

Ignoring the ban, Sergius continued to perform his duties at the Sredneuralsk Convent, located near the Ural city of Yekaterinburg. In May, the local diocese defrocked him, and he was excommunicated by the ecclesiastical court in September.

Aside from his views on Covid-19, Sergius is known for using anti-Semitic language in his sermons. A former police officer, he previously spent 13 years in prison for murder, and was once the personal confessor of Russian MP Natalia Poklonskaya, who became a household name during the 2014 Crimea crisis. 

In September, another religious leader, named Sergey Torop, was arrested on suspicion of using psychological violence to extract income from his followers. Torop, who calls himself ‘Vissarion’ and is known as ‘the Siberian Messiah’, founded a cult named the Church of the Last Testament in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk in 1991. During the police raid, Russian law authorities found weapons, cash, jewellery and adult toys among his possessions.

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