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Former cleric of the Vinnitsa diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church arrested in Russia

A court in Russian St. Petersburg arrested for two months the former priest of the Vinnitsa diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, John (Dmitry) Kurmoyarov, in a criminal case on the dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the RF Armed Forces for mercenary motives. The reason for initiating the case, according to preliminary data, is the video on YouTube “Who will be in hell and who will be in heaven?”. Dmitry Kurmoyarov moved a few years ago to Russia from Ukraine, where an administrative case was initiated against him for publicly displaying the St. George ribbon, writes DFU.

“The Kalininsky District Court of St. Petersburg considered the petition of the investigation to select a measure of restraint for Ioann Kurmoyarov, who is accused of committing a crime under Part 2 of Art. 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the exercise by state bodies of the Russian Federation of their powers”), the joint press service of the courts of St. Petersburg reported. – The court satisfied the petition of the investigation, electing Kurmoyarov to be kept in custody until August 6, 2022.

At the same time, the press service of the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg specified that the charges were brought under paragraph “e” of Part 2 of Art. 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (a crime committed based on political, ideological, racial, national or religious hatred or enmity against a social group).

Dmitry Kurmoyarov moved to Russia in 2018, before that he served in the parish of the Tulchinsky district of Vinnitsa. The priest left Ukraine after an administrative case was opened against him for publicly displaying the St. George ribbon (Article 173-3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses), which provides for a fine of 50,000 to 150,000 non-taxable minimum incomes of a citizen. He was criticized on Ukrainian television, alluding to his connection with the Russian special services.

In Russia, the clergyman and doctor of theology received a passport and a position as an assistant professor in the department of church theology at the Novosibirsk Seminary. The dignity of the hieromonk was deprived on April 1, 2022 by the decision of the Novosibirsk diocese and the decree of Patriarch Kirill.

Also, Father John publicly criticized the Russian Orthodox Church, in particular, the temple of the Ministry of Defense, for which he was punished with a two-month ban on service in 2020.

The basis for the persecution of Dmitry Kurmoyarov this time could be one of the videos of the ex-priest on the YouTube channel “Orthodox Virtual Parish” of 4.4 thousand subscribers. The last video was published on June 6 under the title “The Bishop of the UOC sharply condemned Patriarch Kirill.”

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