Moscow Priest Faces Church Court for Defying Mandatory 'Holy Rus' Victory Prayer

Written by Jeppe W

Jan.11 - 2024 11:15 AM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Archpriest Alexey Uminsky, formerly of the Moscow Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Khokhly, faces ecclesiastical scrutiny following his refusal to recite a prayer for the victory of 'Holy Rus' during divine liturgy.

Uminsky, who was previously removed from his position and banned from service, has been summoned to the Moscow Diocesan Court, as revealed in a document published by journalist Ksenia Luchenko.

The controversy stems from Uminsky's alleged "ecclesiastical misconduct," specifically his refusal to recite a prescribed prayer that was first introduced by Patriarch Kirill in September 2022. The prayer, which has been mandated for use in Russian Orthodox churches, calls upon God to aid His people and grant victory, with phrases like “Arise, O God, in aid of Your people and grant us victory through Your strength.”

This case is not isolated within the Russian Orthodox Church. Another priest faced a ban from service after altering the word "victory" to "peace" in the same prayer, eventually leading to his removal from the priesthood by the ecclesiastical court.

The decision to take disciplinary action against Archpriest Uminsky has sparked a significant public response, with more than 5,000 people signing an open letter advocating for the reconsideration of his ban. This widespread support underscores the complexities and contentious nature of intertwining religious practices with nationalistic sentiments, particularly in the context of current geopolitical tensions.

The Moscow Diocesan Court's summoning of Uminsky highlights the ongoing debate within religious communities about the role of the church in national affairs and the extent to which clergy should adhere to prescribed doctrinal practices, especially when they intersect with political narratives.

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