Monday, January 28, 2019

By Priest of Antinous Jim Crawford

EVEN though sexual relations between men have been technically legal in the Russian Federation since 1993, Chechnya imposed the death penalty for these acts in 1996

The first major wave of homophobic persecution in Chechnya began in 2017 with gay men held and tortured.  Some were made to pay large sums of money to secure their release while others were shamed front of their relatives then released resulting in several “honor killings.”

The persecutions have been “extra legal” with the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, denying that any such campaign is being carried out.  The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe investigated reports of the purge and found the allegations credible based on the testimony of witnesses and survivors.

President Kadyrov does not seem concerned about international condemnation.  The Russian LGBT Network has assisted in the evacuation of 150 out of Chechnya since April of 2017.

We grieve for these bothers in Antinous who are persecuted for being who they are.

Hadrian, partner and lover of Antinous, who willingly took on the responsibility of leading the Roman Empire, we ask you to influence the leaders and population of Chechnya so that they may cease this persecution and live in love.  We implore you especially as we commemorate the day of your birth.

Antinous, who showed extraordinary courage in the face of a ferocious, man-eating lion, we ask you to fill your brothers in Chechnya with your fortitude.  Protect them and guide them to safety as Hadrian protected and guided you.

We pray for all those taken up in this evil campaign.  We pray for those who, while homosexual themselves, avoid the campaign because they “appear straight.”  These men are condemned to watch helplessly as their brothers are tortured and killed.  We pray also for those who may not be sexually attracted to other men, but who are caught up in this evil campaign because they do not fit the stereotype of masculinity imposed by the Chechnyan government.

Hadrian and Antinous, hear our plea.  Ave Antinous!

JIM CRAWFORD, Priest of Antinous

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