Deacon SERGEY SHCHERBYUK, Russian Orthodox Church (Samara Oblast, Russia)

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Dn Sergey Shcherbyuk

Deacon of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin parish in the Samara region. The Baza Telegram channel reported that in early April, the deacon was fined 30,000 rubles under the article on discrediting the Russian army in critical statements to parishioners and other ministers about Russia’s war against Ukraine. Shcherbyuk did not know for which specific incidents he was subjected to administrative punishment. It is likely that the parishioners themselves denounced the deacon. He recalled two cases which migh have attracted the attention of the police. One of them was a conversation with a parishioner on the way from church, in which he said that «everything can be solved without fighting». In another incident, Shcheryuk asked the person editing the parish page in the VK social network to amend the call for «prayer for the soldiers fighting with Nazis and Banderites [- a Russian propaganda name for Ukrainians]» leaving only the words about praying. The page editor did not like the request and insisted that parishioners themselves wanted the call to be published.