Reader PAVEL KICHULA, Russian Orthodox Church (Vyazma, Russia)

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Pavel Kichula

Pavel Kichula, born in 1988, an artist, a graduate of Smolensk State University and the Smolensk Theological Seminary, a former head of the Youth Missionary Department of the Vyazma Eparchy of the Smolensk Metropolis of the Russian Orthodox Church. On 20 March 2022 Bishop Sergiy of Vyazma and Gagarin appointed him a lector.

Kichula condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine on his social media. On 7 April 2023, the Vyazma District Court found him guilty of violating part 1 of art. 20.3.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (Public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation) and fined him 40,000 rubles.

As the Readovka news website reported, Kichula was accused of “gaining influential authority in a particular religious group” and “publicly” disagreeing with the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine calling them criminals and “imposing this opinion on all members of the group.”