Σάββατο, 2 Ιανουαρίου 2010

The New-Martyr Eugene Rodionov

Evgenij Aleksandrovich Rodionov 

Evgeny Rodionov’s biography was published in a booklet that came out in 2002. The book was called The New Martyr of Christ, Warrior Evgeny. The fifth edition of this booklet was the one blessed by Patriarch Alexy. It was written by priest Alexander Shargunov who is a noted communist and nationalist which in turn has been the cause of speculation regarding the truth of his tale. Some say Fr. Alexander merely contemporized a story from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (Book III, Chapter 7, “Disputation”) to promote Russian interests in the Chechnyan War. Though this tale of Dostoevsky, which is based on actual events as described by Dostoevsky in his Diary of a Writer (1877), is very similar to the story of Evgeny, this only testifies to the possibility of its actuality. This argument does not hold up when the testimony of Evgeny's mother and executioner bear testimony to the truth of the tale, as well as the fact that there is video evidence to prove Evgeny was beheaded and countless stories of miracles reported by the pious faithful. Evgeny's relics also testify to the truth of the story.

There are a few videos being ciculated on the internet of Russians being beheaded by Muslim Chechens. In fact, there are over 400+ hours of such videos known. They say that a video was made by the Chechens of Saint Evegni's death as well, though its whereabouts are unknown. According to
one person who has examined all these videos, as well as the execution of Saint Evgeny: "They used the rusted old saw, and slowly sawed his head off. Everything was filmed, and when Lubov Rodionova came to see the field commander who did it, he gave her a tape with her son's execution on it." I must warn my readers that these videos are very gruesome and are best avoided, as they will likely leave your mind in a frenzy for a few seconds as they did to me. The Chechens preferred this atrocious method of execution because they followed a legend saying that a decapitated victim would not come for the murderer after death.


 


XX Century

Russian soldier captured in the Chechen War in 1996, and killed, (according to his mother, who met repeatedly with a Chechen guerrilla leader to retrieve her son's remains), after refusing conversion to Islam. Soldiers and veterans of the War almost immediately began venerating him as a saint; the Church bureaucracy was less enthusiastic, insisting on an elaborate investigation (unconcluded at the time of writing, 2007/09). The incident is a modern example of the tension between ancient customs of canonisation by popular veneration and the more recent (but still ancient) emphasis on formal procedures. Norman Hugh Redington

Source: http://www.voskrese.info/spl/Xeugen-rodionov.html

Evgeniy Rodionov Soldier Martyr

The 19 year old New Russian Orthodox Saint of Chechnya

Apr 21, 2007 Christopher Eger




Evgeniy Aleksandrovich Rodionov was born May 23, 1977 in the village of Satino-Russkoye near Moscow in what was then the Soviet Union. In 1995 he turned 18 and was drafted into the Russian armed forces. He was chosen to work in a frontier guard unit (sometime of a mix between the US Border Patrol and the National Guard) and sent for training in the Kalingrad area of what was formerly East Prussia. After training he was sent to the border of Chechnya and posted near the town of Galashki. On the night of February 14, 1996 he and three comrades were captured by a force of Chechen guerillas in an ambulance. They were held in the cellar of an abandoned house for 100 days as ransom demands were sent to their families. Kidnapping was almost a cottage industry in Chechnya during that time period. Rodionov ransom was reported to be on the order of 50 million rubles- at the time an impossible sum.
Chechen field commander Rusland Haihoroev (also spelled Khaikhoroyev in some sources) slit the throat of the soldier and later beheaded him on May 23, 1996 (his 19th birthday) near the settlement of Bamut. His body, along with four other Russian prisoners were placed in a bomb crater outside the village of Alexeevskaya and covered up with lime and dirt. Haihoroev stated later in an interview that he only killed Rodionov after the soldier denied conversion to Islam and refused to give up his orthodox cross. This was instrumental in the popular movement to have the boy soldier martyred.
Lubov Rodionova, the mother of the executed soldier journeyed to Chechnya on her own accord to try to find her son. She stayed there for ten months chasing down leads and questioning anyone who would talk to her. It was months before she found out that he had in fact been killed. She finally agreed to pay an informer some 100,000 rubles (about $4000 US) to take her to his gravesite in the forests outside of Alexeevskaya. There, with the assistance of the military, she was able to exhume his body. She found her sons headless body complete with his trademark cross and returned to Moscow with it where with the aide of the revived Orthodox Church she buried him and spread his story. The attention to his case has led to several veteran groups and religious organizations to call for his canonization. You can find unofficial prayer cards and icons all over Russia to the young soldier. He was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage by the Army.
Haihoroev himself was killed in 1999 in a fight between his group and rival Chechen band. Lubov Rodionova returned to Chechnya on a second trip and recovered her sons head.

Sources

Orthodox Heritage. The Greek Orthodox Brotherhood of St. Poimen. Florence, Arizona. Volume 01, Issue 1 January 2003 p. 4.


Read more at Suite101: Evgeniy Rodionov Soldier Martyr: The 19 year old New Russian Orthodox Saint of Chechnya http://modern-war.suite101.com/article.cfm/evgeniy_rodionov_soldier_martyr#ixzz0bUcNkPGz Source: http://modern-war.suite101.com/article.cfm/evgeniy_rodionov_soldier_martyr

#3 - JRL 8396 - JRL Home
RIA Novosti
October 5, 2004
THE FIRST SAINT OF THE CHECHEN WAR


MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Anatoly Korolev) - In the last ten years, the Russian Orthodox Church has canonised as new martyrs about 1,500 priests and monks who died during the Bolshevik terror. It, however, refused to give the same honour to a soldier, Yevgeny Rodionov, who was executed in Chechnya eight years ago, on May 24, 1996. In so doing, the Church reaped a harvest of trouble.
Initially, Yevgeny's death was only a family tragedy.
When his mother, Lyubov Vasiliyevna, was informed that her son had deserted, she did not believe the news and went to look for him in Chechnya. Somehow she did the unbelievable and found the Chechens who had held her son prisoner and then killed him. Ruslan Khaikharov, the leader of the Chechen gang, told her 17 times, that is at 17 meetings, that she had born a bad son who refused to adopt Islam and join the separatists in their fight against Russia. For this he was beheaded. Yevgeny could have lived, but instead died on his 19th birthday.
The mother begged Khaikharov to give her at least Yevgeny's body. He replied that he was ready to sell it and named his price. Lyubov Vasiliyevna did not have enough money and so decided to sell her flat. Chechens with good connections in Moscow handled the deal. After receiving the money, Khaikharov showed her where Yevgeny's body was buried and another site where his head lay.
Lyubov Vasiliyevna recognised her son's cross on the decapitated body, as he had worn it since he was ten and never taken it off.
She brought the body and the head home and buried them at a cemetery in the village of Satino-Russkoye, near Podolsk, the Moscow region.
Yevgeny was awarded the Order of Courage post mortem.
The soldier's fate would have probably been forgotten, if a Central TV film crew had not come to the village six years later to shoot a short report on a cross being set on a restored church. Parishioners told the reporters about the heroic deed of the son and the courage of the mother, who had buried him in his homeland. They filed the story as a separate report.
And so it became known to the Orthodox community, and a year later the soldier's fate and his grave was surrounded by a cult, as is often the case in Russia, where reason frequently gives way to emotions.
The soldier's death became a feast of holiness.
Homemade icons of the new martyr Yevgeny appeared: using photographs, a painter depicted against a halo him in a blue and white striped sailor's shirt and a border guard's uniform. If pilgrims once walked to his grave, they now arrive in special buses and join a sacred procession around the cemetery. Leaflets describing his fate are published and his cross is kept in the church as a relic. Finally, writer Alexander Prokhanov, a leader of modern and editor-in-chief of the patriotic newspaper Zavtra, and the public church organisation of radical Christians Union of Orthodox Standard-Bearers officially asked Patriarch Alexis II to canonise Yevgeny Rodionov and declare him a new martyr.
The Synod's canonisation commission studied the issue for a year and a half and recently announced its decision: the Church did not find Yevgeny's fate to be worthy of Church reverence.
The decision caused an uproar among Christian Russians and split the clergy into two camps: those who supported the decision and those who were outraged by it.
Maksim Maksimov, secretary of the canonisation commission, explained the Synod's position in Tserkovny Vestnik (Church Bulletin), the official publication of the Russian Orthodox Church. His arguments can be summarised in three points: the only evidence that the soldier was executed for this faith is the testimony of his mother, who in her love made a god of her son; the Russian Orthodox Church has never canonised anyone killed at war; the period of new martyrs ended with the collapse of the Bolshevik regime. However, he emphasised, the deceased can be honoured without canonisation.
Opponents of the decision, including well-known priest Alexander Shargunov, say that an outbreak of people's love is enough for the truth, that Yevgeny's grave works miracles, curing the sick and reconciling enemies. They also point out that the solider did not die at war but in captivity, and that to say that the time of martyrs is over is heresy.
This is a rare case when both parties are right, because holiness is a unique material of the soul that is born in the stormy atmosphere of debate: it is enough to recall the coming of Christ or the fate of the Apostles Peter and Paul, whose holiness was subjected to most cruel tests and fostered a fervent dispute during the first centuries of Christianity. So, this is the case when debate is three times relevant.
Moreover, for over a thousand years Russia's religious spirit has existed as a unity of opposites, where the passionate split between pagans and Christians, Old Believers and Nikon advocates, orthodox believers and evangelists, paradoxically, strengthens what is most important: faith. The sharper contradictions, the broader the common moral field of religion.
Finally, the debate around the new cult reflects the revival of the Russian church, the beneficial polyphony of opinions, which was quiet during the time of terror and oppression for the sake of survival.
And the last point.
The faithful have raised enough money for the soldier's mother to buy back her flat.
Source: http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/8396-3.cfm

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Saint Evgeny Rodionov the New Martyr of Chechnya


Below is a story of the courage and faith of a young man in Post-Soviet Russia whose memory we celebrate on May 23rd and August 20th.

Evgeny Aleksandrovich Rodionov was born thirty minutes after midnight on May 23, 1977 in the village of Satino-Russkoye near Moscow in what was then the Soviet Union. According to his mother, as a boy in this small village, all he really wanted was to be a cook. When he was eleven years old, Evgeny Rodionov received from his grandmother a little Cross on a chain. He wanted to wear it to school, but his mother, then an atheist, warned him against it, since the communist authorities frowned on such things. Evgeny wore it anyway and refused to ever take it off.

In 1995 Evgeny turned eighteen and was drafted into the Russian armed forces as is required for all Russian men. Right before being drafted, Evgeny was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church on his own accord seperate from his parents who were still atheists. For his duty he was chosen to work in a frontier guard unit (something of a mix between the US Border Patrol and the National Guard) and sent for training in the Kalingrad area of what was formerly East Prussia. After training he was sent to the border of Chechnya and posted near the town of Galashki. This was towards the end of the controversial
First Chechnyan War. On the night of February 14, 1996, just six months after he started his service, Evgeny and three comrades were captured by a force of Muslim Chechen guerillas who were disguised in an ambulance while the Russian soldiers were manning a checkpoint.


According to a report in
Pravda from 2003:

"They [Evgeny and the soldiers with him] patrolled the border between the republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia. Their control and registration post was located some 200 meters far from the security detachment. The post was just a small cabin, without any light or wire communication. The cabin did not even have a military support, in spite of the fact that it was a single cabin on the mountainous road, which was used for carrying weapons, ammunition, captives, drugs and so on. The border guards stopped an ambulance vehicle to check it. More than ten armed Chechens got out of the vehicle. Needless to mention that it was very easy for them to cope with young inexperienced soldiers. The guys showed as much resistance as they could, but the outcome of the fight was evident before it even started."

Upon capture they were held in the cellar of an abandoned house for 100 days as ransom demands were sent to their families. Kidnapping and demanding ransom was almost a cottage industry in Chechnya during that time period. They kept Evgeny hanging by his wrists in a basement. They starved and beat him. Rodionov's ransom was reported to be 50 million rubles (1.6 million dollars) - at the time an impossible sum. Another report says it may have been in the $10,000 range. Whatever it was, the ransom was not met.

Chechen field commander Rusland Haihoroev (also spelled Khaikhoroyev in some sources) eventually beheaded Evgeny with a rusted saw that took over an hour to complete on May 23, 1996 (his 19th birthday) near the settlement of Bamut. His body, along with four other Russian prisoners were placed in a bomb crater outside the village of Alexeevskaya and covered up with lime and dirt. Haihoroev stated later in an interview that he only killed Rodionov after the soldier denied conversion to Islam and refused to give up his Orthodox Cross, while two others with him had converted to Islam. Russian troops occupied the village where Evgeny was murdered the following day after the execution.

Evgeny's mother, Lubov Rodionova, was informed that her son had deserted the army. She did not believe the news and went to look for him in Chechnya. She stayed there for ten months chasing down leads and questioning anyone who would talk to her. It was months before she found out that he had in fact been killed. This news came when she found the Chechens who had held her son prisoner and then killed him. Rusland Haihoroev, the leader of the Chechen gang, told her seventeen times over the course of seventeen seperate meetings, that she had born a bad son who refused to adopt Islam and join the separatists in their fight against Russia. “Your son had a choice to stay alive. He could convert to Islam, but he did not agree to take his Cross off. He also tried to escape once,” said Haihoroev to Evgeny's mother. She finally agreed to pay Haihoroev some 100,000 rubles (about $4000 US) to take her to his gravesite in the forests outside of Alexeevskaya. This was money she did not have, so she had to sell her apartment to finance the deal. Chechens in Moscow handled the deal and when all was done Haihoroev showed her where his body was. There late at night, with the assistance of the military, she was able to exhume his body. She found her sons headless body together with the Cross he wore and died for among his bones and stained with small drops of blood. The head was discarded in another place. According to Evgeny's mother, this event took place in the following way:

“When I came to Chechnya in the middle of February, a living private cost ten million rubles. This price was 50 million in August. A friend of mine was told to pay 250 million rubles for her son, since he was an officer. It was nighttime when I and some sappers digging the pit, in which the bodies of four Russian soldiers were thrown. I was praying all the time, hoping that my Evgeny was not going to be there. I could not and did not want to believe that he was murdered. When we were taking out the remnants, I recognized his boots. However, I still refused to accept the fact of his death, until someone found his Cross. Then I fainted.”


Lubov took Evgeny’s body away along with the bodies of his murdered friends. She returned to Moscow with the aide of the Russian Orthodox Church and buried him. When Lubov Rodionova came back home, Evgeny’s father died five days after the funeral. He could not stand the loss of his son.

“We know that he had to go through horrible, long-lasting sufferings that could be compared to the ones of great martyrs in ancient times. They were beheaded, dismembered, but they remained devoted to Jesus Christ anyway,” priest Alexander Shargunov said during the requiem in Evgeny Rodionov’s memory.

Evgeny was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage by the Army. Lubov Rodionova later returned to Chechnya on a second trip and recovered her sons head.

Haihoroev himself and his bodyguards were killed on August 23, 1999 in a fight between his group and a rival Chechen band.

The soldier's fate would have probably been forgotten, if a Central TV film crew had not come to the village where Evgeny's relics now lie six years later to shoot a short report on a Cross being set on a restored church. Parishioners told the reporters about the heroic deed of the son and the courage of the mother, who had buried him in his homeland. They filed the story as a separate report. A year later a huge devotion spread throughout Russia and the entire world.


The
New York Times reported in 2003:

"In pamphlets, songs and poems, in sermons and on Web sites, Private Rodionov's story has become a parable of religious devotion and Russian nationalism. The young soldier, it is said, was killed by Muslim rebels seven years ago because he refused to renounce his religion or remove the small silver Cross he kept around his neck...

"As his story has spread, pilgrims have begun appearing in this small village just west of Moscow, where his mother, Lubov, 51, tends his grave on an icy hillside beside an old whitewashed church. Some military veterans have laid their medals by his graveside in a gesture of homage. People in distress have left handwritten notes asking for his intercession. In a church near St. Petersburg, his full-length image stands at the altar beside icons of the Virgin Mary, the Archangel Michael, Jesus and Nicholas II, the last of the czars, who was canonized three years ago.

"Aleksandr Makeyev, a paratroop officer who heads a foundatioion to assist soldiers, said he had seen soldiers kneeling in prayer before an image of Private Rodionov. 'The kids in Chechnya, they feel they've been abandoned by the state and abandoned by their commanders,' he told the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. 'They don't know who to appeal to for help, but they understand that Zhenya is one of them,' he said, using Private Rodionov's nickname. 'You can say he is the first soldier-saint.'

"Among the photographs of her son that Mrs. Rodionov spreads on her kitchen table are laminated cards that she says some soldiers carry with them for luck. They bear his image along with a prayer:

"Thy martyr, Evgeny, O Lord, in his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from Thee, our God, for having Thy strength he has brought down his torturers, has defeated the powerless insolence of demons. Through his prayers save our souls."

Icons and pictures of this young man Evgeny spread around Russia very quickly and he was hailed as a New Martyr for Christ. In these icons sometimes he wears a uniform, sometimes a red robe (which is a way he appears in visions to the faithful, especially soldiers and children), sometimes armed, sometimes holding a Cross of martyrdom, but always with his halo. The picture distributed of him shows Evgeny wearing the Cross around his neck for which he died. Miracles have been occurring in connection with Evgeny's relics as well. During a religious procession in commemoration of Martyr Evgeny on November 20, 2002 the icon with the image of the soldier started secreting sweet-scented myrrh.


A sign in memory of the brave Evgeny was put at the entrance to the school where he studied. There was also a documentary released about him. People’s donations made it possible to put a two-meter (6 ft.) high Orthodox Cross on his grave which is located in the village of Satino-Russkoye, near Podolsk, in the Moscow region. People come to visit his grave from the most distant parts of Russia. A WWII veteran once came to visit Evgeny’s grave and he took off his military decoration – the Bravery Medal – and put in on the tombstone. The writings on Evgeny’s grave Cross run: “Russian soldier Evgeny Rodionov is buried here. He defended his Fatherland and did not disavow Christ. He was executed on May 23, 1996, on the outskirts of Bamut.”

His own Cross, the one that he refused to give up, his mother has donated to St. Nicholas Church in Ordinka, Moscow.


Because of the huge devotion to the New Martyr Evgeny, the pious faithful sought official canonization from the Moscow Patriarchate. Initially they refused and this divided the Orthodox in Russia. Maksim Maksimov, secretary of the canonization commission, explained the Synod's position in Tserkovny Vestnik (Church Bulletin), the official publication of the Russian Orthodox Church. His arguments can be summarised in three points: the only evidence that the soldier was executed for this faith is the testimony of his mother, who in her love made a god of her son; the Russian Orthodox Church has never canonized anyone killed at war; the period of new martyrs ended with the collapse of the Bolshevik regime. However, he emphasised, the deceased can be honoured without canonization. Patriarch Alexy of Moscow personally blessed the popular account of Evgeny's life, but worried that his cult would balloon into anti-Muslim rage.

Opponents of the decision, including well-known priest Alexander Shargunov, argued that an outbreak of people's love is enough for the truth; that Evgeny's grave works miracles, curing the sick and reconciling enemies. They also point out that the solider did not die at war but in captivity, and that to say that the time of martyrs is over is near heresy.

Evgeny was officially declared a Saint on August 20, 2002. A Church in his name was built in Hankala, near Groziniy. It is the only Orthodox Church in Chechnya.

Evgeny's mother, who never before set foot in a church, is now an Orthodox Christian believer, saved by the example of her son, the Holy Martyr Evgeny Rodionov. Eventually the faithful helped her to raise enough money to buy a new home.




Source:

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/05/saint-evgeny-rodionov-new-martyr-of.html

 

The New Martyr Fr. Daniel Sysoev

Can One Consider the Death of Father Daniel Sysoev to be a Martyrdom?



Fr. Daniel Sysoev
Death is the last event in a person’s earthly life. For a missionary, death is the last homily, the last message preached, the last witness for Christ, Whom the missionary loved with complete readiness to sacrifice his or her life for the sake of the triumph of the Faith. Father Daniel Sysoev[1] had prepared himself for this sacrifice long before. Even in his younger years when studying at the Moscow Theological Seminary where this writer taught Fundamental Theology, Father Daniel was pierced through with the fiery conviction that only Orthodoxy contained the fullness of saving truth. Possessed of great talents, as a seminarian he already knew the church canons, and passionately contested with students and instructors when they allowed themselves the slightest compromise. To people who were indifferent to the spreading and deepening of the faith, his aversion to compromise seemed strange; and some of them fell into judgment and condemnation—but his death as a priest in the church which he himself had built, gave proof of his earnestness, his zeal, his single-minded commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church.

From the very beginning of his priesthood, Father Daniel chose the most difficult form of ministry—missionary outreach, which was initiated by the Apostles. In the early Church, missionary work was identical with martyrdom. “The martyrs were preachers of Christianity, continuers of the Apostolic ministry; and this mission they fulfilled precisely as martyrs*, that is, presenting themselves as witnesses.” (Bolotov V.V., Lectures on the History of the Early Church. 1. The Post-Apostolic Church and the Roman Empire. in Russian). After the Bolsheviks seized power in 1918, their first blow was directed specifically against missionaries. Murdered were the missionary Bishop Ephrem Kuznetsov, Protopriests John Kochurov, John Vostorgov, Konstantin Golubev, diocesan missionary Nicholas Varzhansky and other such missionaries. [*martyrs: the Greek root μάρτυς (martys) means “witnesss”.]

Father Daniel Sysoev carried out his missionary activity among Moslems. His Evangelical preaching was very successful: He converted and baptized many people; he received death-threats in response. His answer to such threats was to preach Christ with still greater zeal. Therefore his death is a Christian sacrifice for the sake of the great cause to which he felt called by Jesus Christ. Such a death is an open and manifest victory, because “warriors for Christ are not killed, but crowned” (St Cyprian of Carthage, hieromartyr. Epistle 66).

The early Christians referred to the day of death of their brothers and sisters in the faith as their birthday—birth into a new life. With the coming to earth of the Saviour, mankind’s relationship with death was changed forever. “If we believe in Christ, and if through faith in His word and promises we shall never die, then we ought with joyful daring to go to Christ, by Whom and with Whom we shall live and reign forever. It is through temporal death that we cross over to immortality; and eternal life can begin for us only after our departure from here. And this is not really a departure but only a crossing over or resettlement into eternity after our temporal sojourn on earth. Who would not hasten to cross over to that which is better? Who would not desire to be changed and transfigured according to the image of Christ and the sooner to partake of heavenly glory?” (St Cyprian of Carthage, hieromartyr. Book on Mortality).

To him (or her) who dedicates himself to the service of Christ are given various means to bring people to the Truth: preaching by word, and preaching by one’s life as a living example of self-sacrificing service. These earthly labors for Father Daniel have ended. There remains the brightest and most powerful preaching: the preaching of death. “From henceforth, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord: Yea, saith the Spirit, they shall rest from their labours; for their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).

[1] Fr. Daniel Sysoev was short dead in his church in Moscow on November 19th, 2009.
Hieromonk Job Gumerov

29 / 11 / 2009
Source: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/32949.htm

Fr Daniil Sysoev (1974-2009)


The Council of Muftis of Russia gave their condolences in connection with the murder of Fr Daniil Sysoev and asked the public not to blame this crime on the Muslim community. “On my own behalf and on behalf of my colleagues, I offer my condolences. This is a nasty and offensive crime. If a priest asks us questions, we must answer him in a civilised manner, not through murder”, Damir Gizatullin, the first deputy chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of European Russia told Interfax-Religion on Friday. “We engage many people in debate. Perhaps, we may not always agree, but, you can’t take someone’s life! Life is a gift of the Almighty!” he said. Mufti Gizatullin expressed his confidence that “this crime couldn’t have been committed by a believer of any possible religion. All religions, but, in particular, Islam, forbids us to murder another man. If you kill one person, it’s the same as if you killed all of mankind. Moreover, Muslims and Orthodox Christians share the common heritage of the Abrahamic belief. Such closely-related people shouldn’t raise their hands against their brothers”. Mufti Gizatullin believes that the murderer of Fr Daniil “is likely to be some sort of sectarian”.
Roman Silantyev, Orthodox human rights advocate, Islamicist, and Director of the Human Rights Centre of the World Russian Peoples’ Council, said that those who murdered Fr Daniel Sysoev meant to undermine inter-religious peace in Russia. “This murder committed in the courtyard of an Orthodox church on the eve of the birthday of ruling patriarch of the MP was the most serious challenge to interfaith peace in Russia in recent years”, he told Interfax-Religion. Professor Silantyev expressed his deep condolences to the family of “his fellow Islamicist Fr Daniil Sysoev”. He went on to say, “I’m confident that the same people who killed Fr Daniil are the same ones who kill Muslim imams on a regular basis in the North Caucasus, and they killed him for the same purpose, to create antagonism between Orthodox Christians and Muslims”. In his view, “The brazen murders of spiritual leaders that bedevilled our country in recent years are some of the worst manifestations of terrorism, and the authorities must ruthlessly destroy the terrorists along with their accomplices, most of whom, unfortunately, are concentrated in Moscow. The investigators should make every effort to expedite their efforts to find out the facts of the case so that we can punish the criminals“.
On Friday, at a meeting of the RF Gosduma, the murder of Fr Daniil Sysoev in one of Moscow’s churches prompted Deputy Vera Lekareva from the United Russia faction to ask the government to enact measures to frustrate the spread of illegal religious organisations and sects. “The Council of Europe is often contradictory towards us. At the same time, countries that belong to the Council of Europe constantly accuse us of harassing sectarians from various religions”, Ms Lekareva said. She suggested that the RF Gosduma Committee on Religious Affairs and Relations with Civil Organisations should seek relevant information in this regard for the government.
For his part, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Vice-Speaker of the RF Gosduma, suggested that his colleagues consider this murder of a priest from a different angle. [Fr Daniil’s] murder is the answer to yesterday’s extension of the moratorium on the death penalty by the Constitutional Court. This court had no right to declare such a moratorium. Their ruling was merely recommendatory in nature”, he said.
Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar urged the authorities to take measures to ensure that the murder of well-known missionary priest Fr Daniel Sysoev would be the last of a series of similar crimes. “The heinous murder of Moscow priest Fr Daniil Sysoev shocked not only his fellow Orthodox Christians. I’m sure that all religious people in Russia are deeply shocked by this crime”, said a statement that Rav Lazar sent to Interfax-Religion on Friday. Rav Lazar noted with regret that the police “are still not able to provide reliable security for the ministers of God. Indeed, this murder of a priest in Moscow is far from the first in the list of crimes committed against our religious leaders. In recent years, there have been more than a dozen such attacks, and the victims were Orthodox, Muslims, and Jews”. He demanded that the state should “take the most stringent measures” and expressed the hope that “the investigation of the massacre will be taken under special command, so that the perpetrators will be arrested and suffer their deserved punishment. The state must do its utmost to see that the murder of Daniil Sysoev is the last [terror-killing of a clergyman], so that nobody would dare to shed the blood of a priest”, Rav Lazar’s statement said. He noted that the Jewish community of Russia “mourns today, along with Orthodox Christians. We have no doubt that those who are the enemies of God and man carried out this murder… even if they hide behind a religious facade. After all, truly religious people will never raise a hand against anyone who has faith in the one God”. In his opinion, those who killed the Fr Daniil Sysoev and seriously wounded his assistant “did so hoping that it would intimidate our religious leaders and society in general. However, they will never reach this goal. We will continue to encourage the growth of religious spirituality in society, and we will even more actively encourage people to follow the law where God commanded us to love our neighbour, to help him, serve our motherland, and strive for peace”.
Mufti Talgat Tazhduddin, President of the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia (TsDUMR) hopes that the murder of Fr Daniil Sysoev would not incite sectarian strife. “We pray to God that this tragic event… the violent death of one of the servants of God… does not become a pretext to foment sectarian strife and hatred, and that missionary work would not lead to risk to life”, according to the letter of condolences that Mufti Tazhduddin sent to Patriarch Kirill, which came to Interfax-Religion on Friday. Mufti Tazhduddin stressed, “There is nothing more ungodly than the murder of a priest in the temple, as there is no excuse for this crime, not in the eyes of the people, nor before the Almighty Creator. The fact that this premeditated murder occurred on a festival day, your birthday, indicates that it is a crime of provocation, a challenge for the Moscow Patriarchate, those who serve as priests, and all those who want to see the spiritual space of Russia free and who wish the recovery of the roots of its traditional beliefs”. Mufti Tazhduddin said that Muslims in Russia knew Fr Daniil Sysoev as the author of a number of polemical writings. However, he continued, whatever his theological views, “they should not have been a cause of disputes and conflict, leading to the perpetration of violence. Such manifestations of intolerance in such a heinous form must unite and direct our joint efforts to actively oppose such blatant acts of lawlessness, as well as contribute to our affirmation in society of the true values of life”.
On Saturday, around noon, the coffin of murder-victim Fr Daniel Sysoev shall be brought to St Thomas church, where he was rector. “For a day and a half, until Sunday evening, parishioners, friends, acquaintances, and everyone who knew, loved, and respected him, can come and pay their respects to Fr Daniil”, one of Fr Daniil’s assistants told our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Friday night. Reports indicate that one of the mourners who shall pay their respects at that time shall be Patriarch Kirill. Priests from many parishes in Moscow shall read prayers over the coffin continuously in rotation. Our source noted that during the course of the day many people came to the church to express their sympathy to the orphaned parish.
Source: http://02varvara.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/the-murder-of-fr-daniil-sysoev-shocked-everyone-in-russia/

From 'Orthodoxy and the World' www.pravmir.com
Orthodoxy in the World
You Wish to See Many Miracles – You Should Become a Missionary or a Martyr
Fr. Daniel's Autobiography and the Interview with Him on the Occasion of the Opening of the Missionary Centre

By Orthodoxy and the World
Nov 25, 2009, 10:00



Translated by Pravmir.com

   

Autobiography of Fr. Daniel Sysoev

 “I, Priest Daniel Alekseevich Sysoev, was born on January 12, 1974, in Moscow to a family of teachers and artists. My father, Priest Aleksei Nikolaevich Sysoev, is now rector of the Church of St. John the Theologian at the ‘Iasenevo’ Orthodox Classical Orthodox Gymnasium, and is also a clergyman of the Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Iasenevo. My mother, Anna Midkhatovna Amirova, teaches catechism at the same school.

“I was found worthy of Baptism on October 31, 1977, in the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity at Vorobyovy Hills by Priest Eugene. From that time we were regular parishioners of the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Kuznetsky Sloboda. Then we attended the small cathedral of the Donskoi Monastery, the Church of the Deposition of the Robe in Shabolovka. When my father was sacristan of the Church of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist I helped him in the altar and sang in the choir. In the summer of 1988, I took part in the restoration work at the renewed Optina monastery. When the restoration of the Church of All Saints at the former Novoalekseev Monastery began, I sang in a choir there and its rector, Fr. Artemii Vladimirov, recommended that I enter the Moscow Theological Seminary.
“After completing secondary school in 1991, I entered the Moscow Theological Seminary. While studying there I had the obedience of choir singer and as leader of a mixed choir. On December 19, 1994, His Eminence, Bishop Rostislav of Magadan and Chukotka, ordained me a reader.
“On January 22, 1995, I married Iulia Mikhailovna Brykina. The Mystery of Marriage was celebrated in the Church of St. John the Theologian by Priest Dionisii Pozdniaev. In the same year my first daughter, Justina, was born.
“On May 13, 1995, His Eminence, Bishop Evgenii of Verey, ordained me a deacon. I graduated from the Moscow Theological Seminary at the top of the class on June 14, 1995, and enrolled in the correspondence course of the Moscow Theological Academy, from which I graduated in 2000. On June 9, 2000, the council of the Moscow Theological Academy Council approved my candidate’s thesis, ‘Anthropology and Analysis of the Seventh Day Adventists and the Watchtower Society.’
After graduation from the Seminary, by Patriarchal decree, I was appointed a clergyman in the church of the Dormition of the All-Holy Mother of God in Gonchary, the Bulgarian Metochian.
“From September 1995, I taught the Law of God in the senior classes of the ’Iasenevo’ Orthodox Classical Gymnasium. On May 24, 2000, I was awarded a Letter of Commendation for my teaching by the Department of Religious Education and Catechesis.
“From August 1996, with the blessing of His All-Holiness, the Patriarch, I held missionary Biblical conversations in the Kriutitsy Patriarchal Metochian with people who had suffered from the influence of sects and occultists. I began my work at the Rehabilitation Center of St. John of Kronstadt, directed by Hieromonk Anatoly (Berestov), after its creation.
“In 1999, with the blessing of His All-Holiness, the Patriarch, my book The Chronicle of the Beginning, dedicated to the defense of the patristic doctrine of creation, was published by the Publishing House of Sretensky Monastery.  
“In 2000 I graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy as a Candidate of Theology. In 2001 I was ordained a priest. In the same year my second daughter, Dorofeya, was born.
“I served in the Church of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul in Yasenevo in Moscow. I was secretary of the ’Shestodnev’ missionary-educational center and a member of the rehabilitation centre for victims of totalitarian cults and pseudo-religious movements in the name of Saint John of  Kronstadt. I am the author of the book The Chronicle of the Beginning (Moscow, 1999), editor of the anthology Hexaemeron Against Evolution (Moscow, 2000) and the anthology Divine Revelation and Contemporary Science. I have published over a dozen articles on creation and anti-sectarian issues.


For his active missionary activity and polemics with Muslims he was often criticized by Muslims and received threats.
On November 19, 2009, he was mortally wounded in the yard of the Church of the Prophet Daniel (according to other reports, in the church itself) by two bullets fired from a pistol. The killers, who were wearing masks, escaped.
Fr. Daniel leaves behind a wife and three children.



Father Daniel Sysoev is the rector of the Apostle Thomas Church and the initiator of a growing community in honor of the Prophet Daniel. We met on the occasion of the opening of the missionary center in honor of Saint Thomas the Apostle. Olga Kurova talked to Fr. Daniel.
- Fr. Daniel the occasion for our meeting is the opening of a missionary center. It goes without saying that there was a great deal of preliminary work. Please tell us how it all began.
- If we are to recall from the very beginning, it would be 1993, when I was a missionary right on the streets. And from August of 1996 I have entirely officially, with the blessing of His All-Holiness, the Patriarch, led missionary Biblical conversations at the Krutitsy Patriarchal Metochion. These conversations were first intended for converting Protestants. Later more and more occultists and victims of different “sorcerers” appeared. And at last I turned to missionary work among Moslems. So, our center is open to victims of paranormalists and to young people who want to learn the basics of Christianity, as well as for those of other faiths.
- What are your goals?
- Not so long ago we consecrated a temporary church in honor of Saint Thomas the Apostle. A large missionary church in honor of the Prophet Daniel with a chapel to Saint Thomas the Apostle is being built now. This chapel is already functioning, for the moment as its own church. One of our goals is the conversion of non-Christians, mostly non-Russians. The Kantemirovskiy district of Moscow, where the church is located, is a district of different expatriate communities. Moreover, it is a place where different sects are very active. Near the church there is a large Mormon center, and in the area there are Baptists, Adventists, and occultists. But there were no Orthodox until quite recently.
We opened a catechetical school about the basics of Christianity. Every five weeks we conduct a course of five catechetical discourses for those who want to be baptized or just to know more about Christianity. A community of Orthodox Tartars is already functioning in the church and the information agency of Saint Akhmet is starting its activity.
Very soon we are planning to have an open house: we will paste up notices around the district saying that all those who wish may come to the church and ask the priest any question. Later we would like to have such days every three months.
We also work with youth.  Beside our temple there is the Moscow Engineering and Physical University. Curiously enough, we were the first ones to hold a moleben (supplicatory service) before students’ exams. Molebens before the beginning of the academic year have already become traditional in all Orthodox churches, although exams are a more strained period for students. Somehow students do not go beyond lighting candles. Anyway, we hold molebens before the exams, after the Liturgy, and invite all the students.
- How can you alone cope with all you have to accomplish? Do you have any assistants, some sort of initiative group?
- Yes, we have an initiative group; it was already formed at the Krutitsy Patriarchal Metochion. In addition there is the Tartar Orthodox community, which has existed since 2003. And certainly many different Christians of different nations take part in mission. After the feast of the Theophany of Our Lord we hope to open missionary courses. Perhaps, later we will create a missionary institute based on it, and it will prepare preachers of the Gospel. There will be all kinds of preaching: on the streets, in universities. We want to deprive sectarians of their weapon. 
- And how do you work with expatriate communities? Let us take the Azerbaijani, who live near Kantemirovskaya, for example. How can you enter their community? What can you talk to them about?
- I can not say anything about the Azerbaijani community, because I have not yet formed any contacts with them. But I can say a lot about the Tartar expatriate community. I have appeared time and again in a Tartar cultural center, and have gone to Kazan. Tartars are the third largest national group in Moscow. And our work is quite successful: many Tartars, especially young ones, are becoming Christians. Since 2003 I have performed molebens in the Tartar language for the conversion of those astray.
Our task is to break down the barriers that can be found in the cultures of different nationalities that prevent them from accepting Orthodoxy. The news that Orthodoxy is the universal faith, to which all nations are called, is still considered scandalous.
- How should a true young missionary behave talking to someone of the same age?
- A missionary should be the one to start the conversation about God, or else he is no missionary at all. But at the same time, he must soberly evaluate his own knowledge and skills. He should know the answers to the basic questions his counterparts usually ask about Christianity. He should remember that attack is the best form of defense. He should never hesitate to say that you are right and they are wrong. It is not necessary to bow and scrape before each listener. But at the same time, he must not injure somebody's pride in order to prove his case. Christ died for everyone. One should remember that one should respect a person, not his delusions. There should be rejection of falsity, but love for man.
It is difficult for a teenager to go against the collective, to become a black sheep, but it is essential to have that boldness. Previously, in the time of my youth, I considered it prestigious to differ from others. I believe we should restore that tradition. A black sheep is a noble animal. A real Christian should remember this. And if he does not have the strength, he should ask God for help. A young missionary should certainly be prepared for his words to arouse scandal and indignation. But he should not be afraid of that. Our mission consists in saying unpleasant things. Have you noticed that when reading the Bible you feel uncomfortable? The Book begins to judge you! But that does not mean that the truth should be kept away. The Lord Himself said: Woe to you, when all men speak well of you.
Another mistake that can lure a missionary is the attempt to direct mission to some definite group of people. There appears a mission for children, a mission for youth… Many smart, deep young people do not accept it. Why so? That is because when we talk to young people using their own language, as if condescending to them, we fix them at this level. But we should elevate them, raise them to wisdom, and not leave them at a level they have probably already grown out of. It is even better to talk to children as if they were grown-ups. Do you remember Makarevich singing in a very Christian way; “It’s not worth being weighed down by the fickle world”? That should be a motto not only for missionaries, but for all Orthodox Christians.
And certainly we must not forget about prayer and going to church, because sometimes an incorrect missionary outreach can enthrall someone so much that he does not pray or go to church.
- And why must we go to church every Sunday?
- Because Christ gave us such a commandment: six days are for you, and the seventh is for the Lord God. He can demand us to return part of our time as our sacrifice. And the second thing: we should remember our Heavenly Master, our Heavenly Motherland.
If you will, all we Christians are terrorists. We are the members of a rebellious army, which is revolting against the prince of this world (the devil). Churches are linking stations. There we get information from our governing body: ciphers (New Testament), reinforcement (Holy Communion), and we get support through mutual communication. We master all kinds of tricks in order to commit terrorist attacks against the prince of this world, that is, we learn how to do good. Obviously if an agent of the Holy Kingdom shirks attending the headquarters and does not keep in touch with the command center, he can easily get lost, lose his power, and fall in battle. According to the rules of the Church, someone who without sufficient cause goes three Sundays without attending the Divine Liturgy is excluded from Communion.
Often those who do not attend church tend to get tired very quickly. If someone thinks that he will sleep in on Sunday to make up for the rest of the week instead of attending the Liturgy, he will very soon understand that Sunday sleep does not bring pleasure. You can eat a ram, but remain hungry, or you can sleep for twenty-five hours, but still feel sleepy. If God does not give you power, you will never find it in any other place.
If you are in love with someone, you constantly wish to see your loved one, to communicate. You do not have to force such a one to go on a date, do you? Christianity is built on the love between God and man.
It is still very important not to search for justifications if you miss a church service. We can find one thousand justifications, but this will only make things worse. It is necessary to struggle ruthlessly with sin, with laziness. Christians are beings of another kind. There are Homo sapiens, and there is Homo Christianus. Christians should communicate with their like.
- Why do Christians have a different nature?
- A Christian is a person plus the Divine force given to it in Baptism. A non-Christian is simply a person, besides being enslaved by the devil. Either the Holy Spirit is in your heart or the devil is in your heart – can you see the difference?
- Everyone has his way to church. But as a missionary you must have some amazing stories about people’s conversion.
Why go far? We have a member of our parish, Tatyana Imranovna, my closest assistant. She converted from Islam to occultism, and from there, having encountered unpleasant things that frightened her, to Orthodoxy. She came to Christ – at first simply as a way to rescue. Then she began to “churchify.” And the closer she came to the Church, the worse her parents condemned her. It is strange – the worse they behaved towards her, the more problems they had. For example, they cursed her, they threw out her icons – and the same night their dacha burnt down. Here is an example for you of how God protects His own.
There are also examples of miraculous healings. Once the parents of a child, Pentecostals, came to me. They had taken their child to see all kinds of "psychics." As a result the child had a fever up to 39 C for three months. Nothing could help. We Baptised him very solemnly at the Baptismal Liturgy. He stood, of course, very weakly, but showed interest in everything. We gave him Holy Communion and they went home. He went to sleep, woke up – and his temperature was 36.6. He has not been ill for several years since then.
Quite often it happens that everything is explained to someone. He agrees with you in mind, but does not accept it with his heart. But pray for him, and he changes. It always happens that after a moleben for the return of the erring that several people are Baptized.
So if you wish to see many miracles – you should become a missionary or a martyr. They say that if you wish to anoint someone with myrrh you should pour it into your hand and smell it yourself, and only then anoint another person. It is the same thing here: if you wish to tell another about the power of God, you should first feel the power of God yourself.




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Source: http://www.pravmir.com/printer_793.html

On the Death of My Husband: A Message from Matushka Yuliya Mikhailovna Sysoeva, Widow of Fr Daniil Sysoev



Matushka Yulia Sysoeva
Matushka Yulia Sysoeva
November 26, 2009
Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for your support and prayers. This is the pain which cannot be expressed in words. This is the pain experienced by those who stood at the Cross of the Saviour. This is the joy which cannot be expressed in words, this is the joy experienced by those who came to the empty Tomb.
O death, where is thy sting?
Fr Daniel had already foreseen his death several years before it happened. He had always wanted to be worthy of a martyr’s crown. Those who shot him wanted, as usual, to spit in the face of the Church, as once before they spat in the face of Christ. They have not achieved their goal, because it is impossible to spit in the face of the Church. Fr Daniel went up to his Golgotha in the very church which he had built, the church to which he gave up all his time and all his strength. They killed him like the prophet of old – between the temple and the altar and he was indeed found worthy of a martyr’s calling. He died for Christ, Whom he served with all his strength.
Very often he would say to me that he was frightened of not having enough time, time to do everything. He was in a hurry. Sometimes, as a human-being he exaggerated, he got things wrong, he tripped up and made mistakes, but he made no mistake about the main thing, his life was entirely dedicated to HIM.
I did not understand why he was in a hurry. The last three years he was busy serving, never taking days off or taking holidays. I moaned, just now and again I wanted simple happiness, that my husband and my children’s father would be with my children and me. But another path had been prepared for him.
He used to say that they would kill him. I would ask him who would look after us. Me and the three children. He would answer that he would put us in safe hands. ‘I‘ll give you to the Mother of God. She’ll take care of you’.
These words were forgotten too soon. He told us which vestments to bury him in. Then I joked that there was no need to speak about that, we still did not know who would bury who. He said that I would bury him. Once our conversation turned to funerals, I don’t remember the details but I did say that I had never been to a priest’s funeral. And he answered that it did not matter because I would be at his funeral.
Now I remember many words which have gained a meaning. Now my doubts have dissolved, the misunderstandings have gone.
We did not say goodbye in this life, we did not ask each other forgiveness, we did not embrace one another. It was just another day: in the morning he went to the liturgy and I did not see him again. Why didn’t I go to the church that day to meet him? I had thought of it, but I decided I had better get the evening meal ready and put the children to bed. It was because of the children that I did not go there. There was a hand that did not let me go. But the evening before I had gone to the church and met him. I had felt as if dark clouds were gathering over us. And in the last few days I had tried to spend more time with him. Over the last week I had thought only about death and about life after death. I couldn’t get my head around either the first or the second. That day my head was spinning with the words: ‘Death is standing right behind you’. The last week everything was so hard, as if a huge load had been emptied out on top of me. I am not broken. He is supporting me, I feel as if he is standing by me. Then we said so many affectionate words, which we had never said to each other in our whole life before. Only now do I understand how much we loved each other.
The memorial service for the forty days of Fr Daniel takes place on the eve of his namesday and the patronal feast of the future church, 29 December, and 30 December is the feast of the holy prophet Daniel. According to the prophecy of an elder, the church would be built but Fr Daniel would not serve in it. The second part of the prophecy has already been fulfilled.
Matushka Yulia Sysoeva
Source: http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2009/11/on-the-death-of-my-husband-a-message-from-matushka-yuliya-mikhailovna-sysoeva-widow-of-fr-daniil-sysoev/