2007-08-24 17:50:00

24 Orthodox priests and two monks murdered in Russia during 17 years

Moscow, August 24, Interfax - 24 Orthodox priests and two monks have been murdered in Russia since 1990.

According to the Moscow Patriarchate’s website, the murder of Archpriest Alexander Men is the first of the list of those notorious crimes. Fr. Men was died at his home because of blood loss after he was hit with something heavy in the morning September 9, 1990 near the Semkhoz railways station.

Tree monks of the Optina Pustyn monastery, Hieromonk Vasily Roslyakov, Monk Trofim Tatarnikov and Monk Ferapont Pushkaryov were murdered on the Easter Day, April 18, 1993. Their murderer Nikolay Averin said that the devil made him do that.

The rector to the church of Archangel Michael in Grozny Fr. Anatoly Chistousov was murdered on February 14, 1996 by a Chechen gang led by Ahmed Zakayev after he refused to urged Russian soldiers to surrender. The priest was tortured before being shot dead.

Archpriest Alexander Zharkov was murdered on September 14, 1997 in St. Petersburg. Shortly before that he left the Moscow Patriarchate for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

Archpriest Peter Sukhonosov, the rector of the church of the Intercession of the Mother of God in Sleptsovsakay, Ingushetia, was kidnapped from his church on March 28, 1999 by a group of four bandits, and subsequently murdered.

Hieromonk Grigory Yakovlev, the rector of the church in the town of Tura, Krasnoyarsk Region, was murdered on March 21, 2000 in the church of the Holy Trinity. The murdered, Ruslan Lyubetsky, 26, severed the priest’s head and placed it on the holy table. The same day he was arrested. He said it was ‘the god Krishna’ who made him do that.

Priest Andrey Nikolayev, the rector of the Holy Trinity church in the village of Pryamukhino, Tver Region, was burned in the night on December 1 to 2, 2006 in his house together with his wife Ksenia and their three kids.

Priest Oleg Stupichkin, the rector of the church of SS. Peter and Paul in the town of Neyvo-Shaytansky, Sverdlovsk Region, was murdered on the Christmas Eve, December 6, 2007. His murderers, Roman Sukhachyov and Sergey Davlyatchin, who had already spent some time in prison before, stayed in church after the service and killed the priest with a cut of the iron pipe. After that, the criminals stole twenty icons and tried to burn the church. They were detained the same night. Fr. Stupichkin was married and had four children.

Hegoumen Avenir Smolin, the rector of the church of the Ascension of Our Lord in the town of Furmanov, Ivanovo Region, was murdered in the night on the August 21 to 22, 2007 in his house. His murderer, a formerly convicted townsman of Furamnvo, confessed that he with his accessory killed the priest in order to rob min.