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'Pacifism is Heresy': Vladimir Putin Punishes Priest for Preaching Against Russia's War in Ukraine

Putin Punishes Priest Who Preached Against Russia's War in Ukraine
Source: Mega

Jun. 14 2023, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

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The Russian Orthodox Church recently defrocked a priest for delivering a sermon that called for an end to the conflict in Ukraine, RadarOnline.com has learned.

In a startling development to come as Vladimir Putin’s ongoing war against Ukraine continues to escalate nearly 16 months after it first started in February 2022, Priest Ioann Burdin was reportedly convicted under wartime censorship laws this week for preaching against the ongoing clash.

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Putin Punishes Priest Who Preached Against Russia's War in Ukraine
Source: Mega

Burdin was reportedly forced to relinquish his role as a parish priest as a result of his sermon, according to Daily Star, and fined 35,000 rubles [$360] for the incident.

The sermon reportedly emphasized the commandment "Thou shalt not kill” and Burdin used the homily to criticize Putin’s war. He also allegedly suggested that Putin, as well as all of those involved in the conflict, were responsible for the bloodshed of the Ukrainian people.

Putin Punishes Priest Who Preached Against Russia's War in Ukraine
Source: Mega

"We Christians cannot stand on the sidelines while brother kills brother,” the priest preached. “The blood of Ukrainians is not only on the hands of leaders of the Russian Federation and the soldiers who carry out their order.”

“Their blood is on the hands of each of us who approved this war,” he added, “or who stayed silent.”

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Burdin is just one of several Russian priests who have faced Putin's criticism for speaking out against the war.

The ecclesiastical court has since scheduled a hearing for June 16 to review Priest Burdin's case, and he is currently accused of "undermining believers' trust in the patriarch and the bishops" and “being damaging to the Church and its unity.”

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Putin Punishes Priest Who Preached Against Russia's War in Ukraine
Source: Mega

Church authorities also described Burdin's pacifist stance as "distinctly anti-Russian" and "unacceptable."

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Patriarch Kirill – the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church – has meanwhile served as one of the most prominent supporters of Putin and his war against Ukraine.

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Putin Punishes Priest Who Preached Against Russia's War in Ukraine
Source: Mega

He claimed earlier this year that Ukraine is Russia's "historical land" and that Russia "must do everything" to reclaim the territory.

“Today, on our Russian historical land, grave events are taking place,” Kirill said during an Orthodox Easter sermon in April. “You could say it's an internal feud.”

“We must do everything by the power of our prayers and our good deeds to stop this conflict as quickly as possible, so that peace and common good life, fraternal relations once again unite our peoples firmly and firmly, who were the one people of united Russia,” he added.

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