Voices from Russia

Friday, 20 January 2012

More Than 100,000 People Signed Online Petition Demanding the Release of Archimandrite Ephrem

THIS is why Abba Ephrem’s in prison… he brought the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God to Russia, and millions of believers bowed before it, including leaders of the state… and the American special services wanted to punish him for that. You have a choice… you can support the godliness embodied in Holy Rus, or, you can support the demonic Evangelicalism (a religious apologia for the radical rightwing) regnant in the USA, which is Satan’s simulacrum of Christianity. Reflect on this… Paffhausen’s chosen the latter, not the former, course… interesting, no?


According to a website favourable to the release of Igumen Ephrem, the Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for his release from custody in a Greek prison for dangerous criminals. The website “Free Elder Ephraim” has a petition that you can sign to appeal to the President and Prime Minister of Greece, as well as the Supreme Court (Areopagus) for the release of Igumen Ephrem. A portion of the protest posted on the site reads, “We’re convinced that the decision to remand a respected spiritual elder to preliminary custody is a political provocation, with the aim of undermining the authority of Holy Mount Athos and the Church in general”. A counter of signatures on the site shows that the number overtopped 100,000 on Thursday, reaching 103,155 on Thursday evening. This document is available in Russian, Greek, Serbian, Georgian, Bulgarian, English, Romanian, French, and German.

19 January 2012




Friday, 13 January 2012

Igumen Ephrem Will Remain in Custody


The acquittal of the Supreme Court of Greece (the Areopagus) in the case of Archimandrite Ephrem, the abbot of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, won’t result in his release from custody. On Thursday, a spokesman for the Russian Society of Friends of Vatopedi told Interfax-Religion, “This decision relates to the decision of the Court of Appeal of Rhodope, but not the Athens Court of Appeal, according to whose decision Elder Ephrem was taken into custody. The Areopagus acquittal’s another positive step in the development of the Vatopedi case, but it doesn’t cancel the order for the pre-trial detention of Archimandrite Ephrem”. Thus, our contact continued, “[Igumen Ephrem] remains behind bars and still needs our support”. The Areopagus overturned the verdict of the Court of Appeal of Rhodope imposing a ten-month prison (with a three-year grace period) on Fr Ephrem and two other people. The case opened at the Rhodope court, like the case in the Athens court, looked into the circumstances of real estate transactions between Vatopedi and the Greek state, will be reviewed by the Court of Appeal of Thrace.

As reported in December 2011, a Greek court ordered Fr Ephrem’s arrest in connection with an investigation of real estate transactions between Vatopedi and the Greek state in 2008. In late December, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias wrote a letter to Greek President Karolos Papoulias asking for Archimandrite Ephrem’s release from custody, expressing surprise at his pre-trial incarceration as “[Fr Ephrem] doesn’t pose a threat to society and repeatedly expressed his willingness to cooperate with the investigation”. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the head of the MP DECR, described the arrest of Fr Ephrem as an attack on Athonite monasticism in particular and on Orthodoxy in general. Previously, influential Russian politicians, the MP, the RF MID, as well as the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called voiced support for Igumen Ephrem. This was in recognition of the fact that Abba Ephrem was part of the delegation from Vatopedi Monastery that brought the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God to Russia for a stay lasting from 20 October to 28 November, going to various cities throughout the country, where nearly 3 million people venerated the relic, including top political leaders.

12 January 2012



Blog at WordPress.com.