The Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow sentenced Nikolai Romanov (former shiigumen Sergius) to seven years in prison following a case on inciting hatred or enmity (clause “c” part 2 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). His colleague Vsevolod Moguchev received five years in prison.
The court ruled in aggregate, taking into account the sentence handed down to Romanov by the Izmailovsky court in November 2021. Then the former shiigumen received three and a half years under three articles of the Criminal Code – “inducement to commit suicide”, “violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion” and “arbitrariness”.
A criminal case on inciting hatred was opened in September last year. The reason for this was a series of videos published on the Internet.
Nikolai Romanov was detained on the night of December 29, 2020. To do this, OMON, the National Guard and the FSB special unit “Alpha” stormed the Sredneuralsky Monastery. After that, he was taken by plane to Moscow. According to investigators, Romanov publicly urged at least ten nuns to commit suicide, then he “published on the Internet a video of his speech,” which contained “signs of inclining believers” to commit suicide.
In addition, as stated in the case file, Romanov, disagreeing with the decision to ban him from serving, did not leave the monastery and prevented access, including representatives of the Yekaterinburg diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. He is charged with arbitrariness for obstructing the inventory of real estate on the territory of the monastery.
Shiigumen Sergius gained fame as one of the representatives of the ultra-conservative wing of the Russian Orthodox Church. Against the backdrop of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, his conflict with the diocese became public. The priest cursed the authorities and the church leadership for closing churches, and in June he arbitrarily occupied the Sredneuralsky Convent and sent Cossacks to guard it. In July he was deprived of his church rank, and in September he was excommunicated from the church.
Sergius was called the confessor of the deputy Natalia Poklonskaya and a number of other famous people.
Leave a Reply