MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
During an extraordinary meeting, representatives of traditional religious denominations based on IK-25 in Syktyvkar discussed the results of work with convicts, suspects and accused in the first quarter of 2021 and outlined plans for the future.
In IK-25 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia in the Komi Republic (Syktyvkar), a meeting of the Interreligious Working Group of the Federal Penitentiary Service was held. The meeting was attended by the assistant to the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service for organizing work with believers, Father Alexander (Minin), the chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Komi Republic Valiakhmad Gayazov, the priest of the Holy Ascension Church, nourishing the Orthodox Community of the institution, Priest Sergius (Minin), as well as the leadership of the colony and the senior Ilya Igushev, inspector of the department of educational and social work with convicts of the Federal Penitentiary Service.
Before the meeting, representatives of the clergy visited the convicts. Father Alexander and Father Sergius held a service for the members of the Orthodox Community in the prayer room of the institution. Father Alexander turned to the Orthodox with a sermon, reminded of the end of Lent and the approaching Easter. The clergy also discussed the issues of holding the holiday in the colony and answered the personal questions of the convicts.
The chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Komi Republic Valiakhmad Gayazov held talks with fellow believers, and also visited convicted Muslims who are serving sentences in strict conditions. The Mufti told the condemned about the holy month of Ramadan, recalled the essence of fasting and recited a prayer. 23 convicts, professing the religion of Islam, talked with the mufti and performed namaz.
As the assistant to the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service for organizing work with believers, Father Alexander, noted during a meeting of the Interreligious Working Group, in the first quarter of 2021, representatives of the clergy actively visited correctional colonies and pre-trial detention centers – more than 60 times in total. During the trips, the clergy conducted moral conversations and various religious rituals. In addition, half of the meetings of representatives of traditional religious confessions with convicts were devoted to debunking extremist dogmas.
After discussing the results of interaction with the Federal Penitentiary Service, members of the Interreligious Working Group decided to intensify the work of clergymen with convicts who are on preventive records, as well as to hold creative contests among convicts dedicated to the prevention of terrorism and the 30th anniversary of the creation of the first local Muslim community in the Komi Republic.
At the end of the meeting, representatives of correctional colony No. 25 and the Office thanked the clergy for their work with convicts, noting that communication with representatives of traditional confessions has a positive effect on the process of reforming convicts, and the number of those actively visiting prayer rooms and churches, as well as studying religious theory is steadily growing. Thus, in correctional institutions of the Federal Penitentiary Service, there are 13 Orthodox communities, which include more than 500 believers, and 2 Muslim communities, with about 50 believers. More than 100 convicts study in two Sunday schools – Syktyvkar IK-25 and Pechora IK-49.
Press service of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Komi Republic
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.