Pentecostal Sect Controls Local Police in Russia’s Urals — Orthodox Priest

Yekaterinburg, Russia - A neo-Pentecostal sect controls the local police in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, Orthodox priest Vladimir Zaitsev, who was detained and beaten up by policemen, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

The leaders of the flourishing neo-Pentecostal sect called “New Life” bribe policemen in order to act freely in the region, he told reporters.

Last week Vladimir Zaitsev and Moscow professor Alexander Dvorkin, giving lectures about neo-Pentecostals, were arrested at a meeting along with local residents.

15 policemen arrived to detain them. They assaulted the professor and the priest without any provocation. According to Zaitsev, the officers used excessive force when detaining them. They were apparently dragged along the floor and slammed against a police car.

The local prosecutor’s office announced Thursday that a lawsuit was filed against the policemen who took part in the detention. They are accused of exceeding their duties. The officer in charge of 15 policemen has already been fired.

The acting head of the Main Directorate of the Interior Ministry in Yekaterinburg, Major-General Vladimir Filippov, has apologized to Vladimir Zaitsev on behalf of the directorate.