Baptisms are a rite of passage for anyone entering the Christian faith, no matter their age. In modern America, a baptism usually includes a sprinkling of water on a baby’s forehead or a similar affair for an adult who wants to convert. However, things are not the same in other parts of the Christian world. In Russia, for example, one priest proved that he likes to make the baptismal rite of passage as difficult and life-threatening as he can for the young children in his care.
The video below is alarming. Watch as a two-year-old girl screams for her life while she undergoes a baptism by Russian priest Ilia Semiletov. The priest forces the two-year-old’s head under the water and holds her down there because he believes that “Satan is inside her.”
Because the Russian priest was so brutal during the baptism of the baby, he now faces a church court and might lose his opportunity to serve God because of his violence toward the toddler.
The evidence is impossible to ignore. After demanding that the two-year-old girl strip naked, he forced the toddler’s head into the baptismal font at his church in Yessentuki, which is in southwest Russia.
Although the child screams in terror and pain, the adults watching failed to intervene and stop the aggressive and violent priest. Not only did adults fail to protect the child from priest Semiletov, some even laughed at the girl’s cries of terror and fright.
Later, priest Semiletov was accused of striking the toddler’s head against the font twice. But those claims were denied both by the girl’s mother and the church. Nevertheless, priest Semiletov faces potential ejection from the priesthood.
The mother said, her baby “cried because she was scared of the priest.” The mother was not disturbed by how Semiletov forced her child’s head under the water. Instead, she was “grateful” that the priest had baptized her baby and rid of her of the influence of Satan.
However, another parishioner, Lillya Reznikova revealed that priest Semiletov believed children, other than newborns, needed to be “broken” during their baptism because “Satan is sitting inside them.”
“I remember how I was scared when he began to speak this nonsense,” Reznikova said.
The video of the two-year-old’s baptism is alarming. Semiletov forces the child’s head under water three times. He does it so violently that water from the font splashes out and wets the floor. Although onlookers are shocked, Semiletov seems to get a disturbing pleasure out of “breaking” the baby girl with his baptism.
Although this baptism occurred two years ago, the video went viral in Russia this week. Now the church is taking action against Semiletov.
Archpriest Mikhail Samokhin said, “The priest acted too harshly. He has been suspended from officiating at services, and he will be judged by the church court.”
If the court sees fit, they could strip Semiletov of his holy orders.
The mother, who wished to remain anonymous, came forward after the video went viral. “My daughter was two then. She was crying because she was afraid of the priest. She was in church for the first time. We are very grateful to the priest that he agreed to baptize her.”
What do you think about this priest’s way of baptizing babies?
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