Russian Orthodox priests face persecution from State and church for supporting  peace in Ukraine - The Hindu

Russian Orthodox Priests Face Persecution for Promoting Peace in Ukraine.

Hello, everyone. Today, we’re delving into a story that shines a light on the struggles faced by individuals who prioritize peace amidst conflict. Imagine this: religious leaders grappling with the tension between their faith and their nation’s orders. We’re talking about Russian Orthodox priests who have faced persecution for advocating peace in Ukraine, even in the face of opposition from both State and church.

A Clash of Convictions

Picture this: a clash between devotion to one’s faith and allegiance to State orders. Last September, as President Vladimir Putin called for a partial mobilization of reservists, a significant moment unfolded within the Russian Orthodox Church. Moscow Patriarch Kirill issued a directive requiring his clergymen to offer prayers for victory—a call to stand with the nation’s pursuits.

A Stand for Peace

Amidst this fervor for victory, the Rev. Ioann Koval stood at a crossroads of conscience. In a poignant act, he chose to prioritize peace over the patriarch’s orders. Standing before his parishioners in a Moscow church, he chose to pray for peace in Ukraine—an act of defiance that would later lead to significant consequences.

Facing Persecution

The pursuit of peace led to a series of events that highlighted the complexities of standing against prevailing orders. The Russian Orthodox Church leadership, disapproving of his actions, decided to defrock Rev. Koval. This decision, while reflecting the church’s stance, also highlighted the challenges faced by those who dare to prioritize peace in times of conflict.

A Symbolic Gesture

In a distant land, far from the heart of the conflict, Rev. Koval found himself leading services in Turkey. Holding a Bible in one hand and a candle in the other, he symbolized the struggle faced by individuals who choose to stand against the tide of conflict. His actions spoke volumes about the importance of holding onto one’s convictions, even when it means going against powerful forces.

A Call for Reflection

The plight of Russian Orthodox priests facing persecution for advocating peace serves as a reminder of the complexities inherent in conflict. It prompts us to reflect on the role of faith, conscience, and national allegiances in shaping our choices during turbulent times.


Ladies and gentlemen, the story of Russian Orthodox priests standing up for peace in the midst of conflict calls for empathy and understanding. It highlights the power of individual convictions and the sacrifices made for a greater cause. As we contemplate this narrative, let’s recognize the importance of promoting peace and respecting those who take a stand, even when faced with persecution.