Practice of elimination of Mari and Udmurt temples must be immediately stopped. Xenophobic actions of Russian orthodox church (ROC) can result in tragic consequences.
Free Idel-Ural was informed from open sources, that in summer of current year on the shore of Raif lake clergymen of ROC desecrated a place of spiritual worship of Mari people. By the order of Raif monastery abbot, hieromonk Gavriil (Rozhnov), the sacred tree of traditional Mari religion (mar. Onapu) was cut down.
Destroyed onapu was located outside monasterial territory, fifteen meters away from monasterial gate. However, under pretence of that “tree is in emergency state and could be dangerous to visitors”, ROC representatives decided to destroy it.
Free Idel-Ural civic movement insistingly advises Moscow patriarchate to stop practice of desecration of spiritual worship places of our people.
We always respected religious feelings of the Orthodox christians and we count on the same attitude toward feelings of Mari, Erzya, Moksha, Udmurts, Chuvashs, Tatars and Bashkirs. We urgently appeal to hieromonk Gavriil (Rozhnov) to make a public apology to Mari pagans with a promise, that similar sort of desacrative actions will not happen again.
Our civic movement will attentively monitor “relapses of Chumbylat” and take all possible measures to remove desire of Moscow patriarchate to destroy identity of our people by repressions of our traditional religions.
Reference. Chumbylat is sacred mountain on a bank of Nemda river, located in what is now Kirov oblast’. The mountain is the burial-place of legendary Mari prince Chumbylat, sacred place for Mari people. In 1830, on the appeal of Sacred Synod of Moscow patriarchate, Chumbylat was destroyed by the explosion. Orders to put the explosives were issued by Arsenii Zakrevskiy, minister for internal affairs of Russian empire.