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Head of Russian Orthodox Church issues personal ban on leading service to priest who replaced “victory” with “peace” in prayer

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Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has issued a personal ban to priest Ioann Koval, a cleric at the Church of St. Andrew the Apostle in the Moscow district of Lublino. Koval can no longer conduct services as he replaced the word “victory” with the word “peace” during prayer, reported independent news outlet Sota citing a decree issued by the patriarch himself.

Koval, in reciting “Prayer for Holy Russia” (“Molitva o Sviatoi Rusi”), instead of the words “Rise, O God, to the aid of Your people and give us Your victory by Your power,” said “Rise, O God, to the aid of Your people and give us Your peace by Your power.”

The Telegram channel “Christians Against the War” writes that the priest was suspended after being reported by members of the congregation. “The clergy regarded the actions of the priest as 'insubordinate,'” the channel says.

The cleric was forbidden from leading services “until his case was reviewed by the Disciplinary Commission under the Diocesan Council of Moscow.”

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