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러시아정교회, 종교분파주의에 의한 시베리아 신부의 죽음 비난

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2000-03-29 00:21
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After ritual murder of Siberian priest, church denounces rise of
sects
ENI-00-0112

By Andrei Zolotov
Moscow, 24 March (ENI)--Church authorities in the Russian
Orthodox diocese of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, more than 3000
kilometres east of Moscow, have condemned the ritualistic murder
of a local priest, and blamed his death on the rise of cults in
Russia.

"We see the tragedy as a consequence of extensive advertising of
all sorts of pseudo-religiousness, and the return to the wild
pagan cults of satanism and the cultivation of new types of
polytheism," the church declared in a statement.

The statement was issued following reports of the death of
50-year-old Hieromonk Grigory, the Orthodox priest in charge of a
chapel, located in his house in the Siberian town of Tura.

Police Colonel Ivan Panov, chief of the Evenk District Police
Department, told ENI by telephone that at 3 am on Tuesday, 21
March, a man entered the priest's house. He then stabbed
Hieromonk Grigory (whose lay name was Gennady Yakovlev), in the
chest and neck, then cut off his head with a pocket knife. The
murderer, who later told police his name was Roman Krishnin,
carried the severed head round the altar in the chapel, leaving a
circle of blood on the floor, and then placed it on top of the
altar.

Roman was detained later the same day and confessed to the
murder, according to the police.

"He said he had had an order from his god Krishna," Panov said.
The case is now being investigated by the Prosecutor's Office of
the district of Evenk, in the Krasnoyarsk region.

Panov said that the killer's identity could not be officially
confirmed, but police believed he had arrived in Tura 18 months
ago from the Tyumen region, 1000 kilometres away, where he grew
up in a family of hunters. He had no identity papers.

Panov added that the priest knew his murderer.

"Father Grigory, the kind soul, may he rest in peace, had taken
him in, given him shelter, he [Roman] lived in his [the priest's]
house for a long time," the police chief said. "They had
arguments about faith." Panov said the murder did not appear to
be connected to robbery or any other common crime.

The police chief also suspects that Roman assumed the last name
Krishnin in recognition of the Hindu god Krishna. But Panov said
he found it difficult to believe that Roman was a follower of the
Hare Krishna group, which worships Krishna and has world-wide
membership "I read about this faith, they don't teach violence.
He is more likely to be some sort of satanist."

In Moscow Russian Hare Krishnas have expressed deep concern
about press reports declaring that the murderer belonged to their
organisation. They said they feared these reports could ignite
hostility between religious groups.

Sergei Zuyev, chairman of the board of the Centre of Krishna
Consciousness Societies in Russia, issued a statement on 23 March
denying that Roman had ever been a member or employee of the
organisation. The statement stressed that the group's teaching
"excludes any violence not only towards men, but also towards
animals".

Zuyev has flown to Krasnoyarsk to investigate the case.

Svetlana Valerieva, a journalist in Tura who was present when
police first questioned Roman, told ENI in a telephone interview
that Roman was a strong young man who did not appear insane. "In
my opinion he is a normal man who expresses himself well,"
Valerieva said. "He said that he had to purify himself, and
killed Father Grigory for the good of others."

Both Valerieva and Panov said Tura - an impoverished town of
about 6000 residents - was in deep shock. Many people stood
outside the chapel on 22 March as Orthodox clergy from
Krasnoyarsk held a memorial service. The burial is to be held
today, 24 March.

Hieromonk Grigory had set up the local parish, the police chief
said. "Now, with his death, he is turning our town to God."

Deacon Dmitry Streletsky, who works at the Krasnoyarsk diocesan
office of the Russian Orthodox Church, told ENI that Hieromonk
Grigory was a "mild, delicate and benevolent man".