Rev. ILIYA GAVRYSHKIV, Russian Orthodox Church (Tver oblast)

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Rev. Iliya Gavryshkiv

Rev. Iliya Gavryshkiv (b. 1994), rector of the Prophet Elijah parish in Pogoreloye village, Tver oblast, Rzhev eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In March 2022, he signed the Russian Orthodox Church clergy’s anti-war appeal. Apart from him, the appeal was signed by another 292 more clergy, Gavryshkiv’s signature is number 47.

The priest refused to read the Prayer for Holy Rus’ calling for the victory of the Russian army over Ukraine. Bishop Adrian (Ulyanov) of Rzhev and Toropets reprimanded him publicly from the pulpit of the church where the priest ministers. One of the parishioners forwarded the video of the event to the Obyektiv Telegram channel.

The bishop, in particular, said that the priest was given a choice: either he would begin to read the prescribed prayer, or he would initially be subject to a temporary ban from ministry, and in the event of ‘absence of repentance’ — to defrocking. “When we explained it to this guy, he immediately understood it,” said the bishop.

The priest was called to the pulpit of the church; there, he “repented” before the bishop and parishioners admitting his guilt because “out of his foolishness and pride, [he] read prayers for peace again, rather than what [he] was supposed to do.”