Russian riot police arrest apostate priest during raid on Russia

Riot police in Russia have arrested an apostate priest in a raid on a monastery in the Ural region.

Father Sergiy, whose real name is Nikolai Romanov, gained notoriety earlier this year after denying the existence of the Covid-19 pandemic while swearing against the closure of the church and criticizing the Russian Orthodox Church. .

In June, he took control of the Sredneuralsky convent near Yekaterinburg in the Urals and refused to leave.

Sergiy is known for wearing long dark clothes and was formally expelled from the church in September for openly ignoring a ban on holding services and preaching.

Surveys posted on the internet showed riot police and people shouting outside the monastery during the raid.

His lawyer confirmed his detention and said Sergiy had been charged with encouraging minors to kill themselves, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

The case against him could be related to a YouTube video in which he calls on his followers to die for Russia.

Police and local authorities have not yet commented on the raid.

A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, Vladimir Legoida, wrote on Telegram: “It is a pity that … Sergiy and his followers did not heed the repeated calls of the church to repent and change themselves. ‘