Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Navalny’s funeral arranged by Church supporting war in Ukraine

Alexei Navalny, a Christian, vocally opposed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, denouncing it as a paranoid operation built on falsehoods.

However, the church, where his funeral will take place, has openly supported the war by making donations to the Russian army and promoting its endorsement of the conflict.

Navalny’s wife expressed uncertainty this week about the funeral proceedings, fearing potential police intervention against her husband’s supporters. Legal advisors warned attendees to minimize risks by refraining from displaying banners, wearing slogan-bearing T-shirts, or engaging in any form of provocation.

In the event of the funeral, Navalny is unlikely to receive a eulogy reflecting his longstanding opposition to President Vladimir Putin and his vehement criticism of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Numerous social media posts by the church in recent weeks underscore the clergy and congregation’s backing of the war.

One video features a priest and another individual standing beside a Niva SUV, purportedly purchased with donations to aid “our warriors” in Ukraine, with wishes for their victory and safe return. Another video from the church’s Sunday school depicts young girls, most wearing military-style caps, performing in celebration of Russia’s “Defender of the Fatherland” day, receiving applause from attendees.

Reports from the Sunday school show that children and parents visited the main church of the armed forces, adorned with mosaics and stained glass commemorating Russia’s historical battles, on the eve of the holiday. Previous social media posts reveal fundraising initiatives by church members for drones, isothermal underwear, and other supplies for Russian troops, along with activities such as knitting camouflage nets and writing letters of encouragement to soldiers, reflecting widespread support for the war during a time of heightened emphasis on national unity by Putin and full endorsement by the Russian Orthodox Church.

The church’s main priest, Anatoly Radionov, a former captain in the Soviet army, has been linked to the funeral service for Navalny, though attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful. Critics of the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy, which introduced a special prayer for Russia’s victory in Ukraine and criticized priests praying for peace, argue that the church’s activities under Radionov’s leadership indicate strong support for the war.

Russian Orthodox funerals typically involve mourners standing with candles near the coffin while a priest offers prayers and chants. Sermons referencing the deceased’s life may follow, but this is not guaranteed.

Ksenia Lutsenko, an ecclesiastical news commentator based in Germany, hopes the funeral service for Navalny will adhere to tradition without fabricating narratives from the priest’s side.

Navalny, who professed his religious beliefs multiple times, advocated for his right to possess a Bible and a book of psalms during a prison trial in 2021. Despite formerly identifying as an atheist, Navalny found solace in the Orthodox Christian faith, stating that it provided clarity and guidance in navigating life’s challenges.

Source: ANA-MPA /