Russian police recently arrested a priest, Father Ioann Burdin, after he preached a sermon opposing Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Father Burdin, who pastors a Russian Orthodox Church in the region of Kostroma, not only made anti-war statements, but his church also provided a link to an anti-war petition.
In his sermon, delivered in the lead-up to Lent, Father Burdin stated that Russian troops were shelling innocent civilians in Ukraine and “killing citizens of Ukraine—brothers, and sisters in Christ.”
According to Russian media, Father Burdin was charged with “discrediting the Russian armed forces.”
Under a recently passed Russian law, that disallows the publishing of any news about the war that Putin does not agree with, Father Burdin could face 15 years in prison.
Fox News adds that hundreds of courageous priests in the Russian Orthodox Church have issued a statement opposing Putin’s invasion.
Burdin’s arrest is part of a crackdown on free speech by Vladimir Putin, who is attempting to quash the growing resentment in Russia to the invasion. According to reports, thousands have already been arrested in Russia for anti-war protests.
READ: Russian Priest Arrested for Delivering Sermon Against Ukraine War AND Hundreds of Russian Orthodox clergy urge to ‘stop the war’ in Ukraine AND Thousands arrested during anti-war protests in Russia, authorities say