Сергей Умнов
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11.10.2021, 15:32

12.10.2021, 18:01

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Studies for prison priests
Сергей Умнов

A training course for priests working in places of detention is being developed in Russia today. He has already aroused great interest in other countries, among Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant pastors who have devoted their lives to this ministry. It will include five modules: legal, psychological and pedagogical, social rehabilitation, special (liturgical-pastoral and spiritual-educational) and prevention to counter pseudo-religious extremism and Islamic radicalism.

At the same time, 200-250 people will be able to study at the course. Professors from the Academy of Law and Management and the General Church Postgraduate School named after Saints Cyril and Methodius will teach.

There are a lot of problems in this case. Today, prison priests in Russia are officially employees of colonies. Their position is called "assistant to the head of the territorial bodies of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the organization of work with believers." And in these conditions, the priest needs to know his rights very well in order to avoid mistakes in communicating with both the administration and the prisoners.

The authors of the course being developed note that not only prisoners, but also jailers need spiritual enlightenment. Unfortunately, until now, for many employees of prisons and colonies, Orthodox service in places of deprivation of liberty seems incomprehensible and unnecessary.