Father Sergiy, who has always denied the existence of the new coronavirus and condemned the Russian government’s efforts to stop the virus from spreading, was arrested in December 2020. The Moscow court sentenced the monk to three and a half years in prison, Mediafax reports.
Father Sergiy was arrested in December 2020 after giving sermons urging believers to “die for Russia.” He was convicted on Tuesday of inciting suicide and violating his freedom of conscience. The Moscow court sentenced the monk to three and a half years in prison. Father Sergiy, who regularly criticized the Kremlin, denied the allegations, and his lawyers said they would challenge the verdict.
The 66-year-old has always denied the existence of the new coronavirus
The 66-year-old has always denied the existence of the new coronavirus and condemned the Russian government’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Father Sergiy is also known for falsely claiming that coronavirus vaccines were developed as part of an alleged global conspiracy to control humans through microchips.
The monk urged his followers not to observe the isolation restrictions while barricading himself in a monastery near Ekaterinburg with dozens of supporters. He was arrested at the monastery last year after a special overnight operation by police and security forces.
The Russian Orthodox Church removed Father Serghiy from the rank of abbot for violating monastic rules and later excommunicated him, but he rejected the verdict and ignored the summons of the police investigators. Father Serghiy previously served as a Soviet police officer, but was later convicted of murder, robbery and assault and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He joined a church school after his release and later became a monk, according to him euronews.com.
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