“Do not kill”: in Russia, the last rebellious priests

Father Guéorgui Edelchtein, 89 spring, did not tire of a good discussion. Sitting in front of a set of icons, he points to an empty chair. “I want one or two people in front of me to be in front of me.

Why was he one of the few Orthodox priests in Russia to oppose the invasion of Ukraine? The aging pope, white bearded and black Cossack, responds in a trembling voice, but without hesitation.

Ukraine is free, let them do as they please

I am afraid of being a bad priest because I have not always been against all wars, but I have always been against wars of aggression and victory.

Ukraine is free, let them do as they please“, Was questioned by AFP at his home in the hamlet of Novo-Beli Kamen, on the banks of the Volga, a six-hour drive from Moscow.

In the aftermath of the February 24 attacks, only a handful of clergymen from the Russian Church, which claims to have 150 million believers worldwide, spoke out against the Kremlin’s military campaign.

On the contrary, their leader, the Patriot Grill, has perpetuated militant worship. “Body“Around the Passing Force”EnemiesHistorical Union between Russia and Ukraine.

Since his appointment in 2009, Grill has relentlessly advocated an alliance with the regime of Vladimir Putin, against the West in the name of conservative values.

The current Russian Orthodox Church, under the control of the Secret Service during the Soviet Union, has never encouraged criticism. But the irrevocable remain the same.

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“Blood on hands”

On February 25, Father Edelkdeen signed a letter from his friend Father Ion Portin and published it on the website of their church in the village of Karapanovo in the Kostroma region.

The blood of the Ukrainians is not only in the hands of Russian leaders and soldiers carrying out orders. It is up to those who support this war or those who remain silent“, Refers to the message since it was deleted.

The head of the Diocese of Kostroma, Metropolitan Ferrafont, condemned the intervention, pointing out that only two popes were priests in the region of 160, which opposed the attack.

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