Parishioner murdered by terrorists receives burial on Chechen church grounds as one who suffered for Christ

Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia, May 23, 2018

Photo: RIA-Novosti Photo: RIA-Novosti

Artemy, the parishioner of the Church of the Archangel Michael in Grozny, Chechen Republic, who was murdered during Saturday’s terrorist attack on the parish, was honored with a burial on church grounds yesterday, reports RIA-Novosti.

Artemy was honored as one who suffered for his faith. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack that left three dead, and several others injured.

Parish rector Fr. Sergei Abasov has reflected that Artemy was a very pious man, of deep spirituality. “He would sit in church all day, reading Sacred Scripture and praying on his prayer rope,” he said. “His prayer rope was in his hand when he was killed… He departed to the Lord with the name of Christ on his lips.”

“He suffered for the faith,” Fr. Sergei told RIA-Novosti. “It’s not that terrorists choose their victims, but that the Lord chooses His martyrs!” Fr. Sergei exclaimed.

Terrorists also shot and killed five women at a church in the Dagestan Republic on Forgiveness Sunday in February. All of them outstanding members of the parish, they were also blessed to be buried on church grounds, also being honored as martyrs for the faith.

Photo: RIA-Novosti Photo: RIA-Novosti

According to His Eminence Archbishop Varlaam of Makhachkala and Grozny, Artemy had come to Chechnya from Uzbekistan, looking for his family. However, it seems he did not find them, and having no family in the republic, his funeral was entirely organized by the parish.

The rite was celebrated by Fr. Sergei and was attended by several dozens of parishioners. The Chechen Republic Mufti Salakh-Hadji Mezhiev also came to offer his condolences. Both Abp. Varlaam and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had earlier offered their condolences as well, and Abp. Varlaam had visited the church on Sunday, celebrating the Divine Liturgy with special petitions for the repose of the departed and for the health of the wounded.

Artemy was fatally shot on church grounds on Saturday when four militants attempted to invade the church. Two police officers guarding the church, Vladimir Gorskov, an Orthodox Christian, and Kairat Rakhmetov, a Muslim, were also immediately shot and killed. They have been buried in their hometowns in the Saratov Province, with thousands coming out to honor them as heroes.

Another parishioner, Dr. Fedor Napolnikov, was also injured during the attack, as well as two Special Operations officers during the shootout that left all four terrorists dead.

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