A Priest Banished to Remote Russian Village after His Wife Wins 'Miss Sexuality' Pageant

Published April 15th, 2019 - 10:02 GMT
Mrs Zotova received a barrage of criticism for her 'sinful' behaviour and 'glamour lady appearance' despite no photos of her being risqué (dailymail)
Mrs Zotova received a barrage of criticism for her 'sinful' behaviour and 'glamour lady appearance' despite no photos of her being risqué (dailymail)

A priest has been barred from entering a cathedral and banished to a remote village after his wife won a beauty pageant.  

Oksana Zotova, 32, has faced brutal criticism and threats after being crowned 'Miss Sexuality' in the contest in Magnitogorsk, Russia. 

Her husband Sergiy Zotov has been banned from officiating in Magnitogorsk Orthodox Cathedral - and has been exiled to a remote and sleepy village church 43 miles away. 

The 31-year-old cleric has been told he has no way back because of the 'scandal', unless his wife - a beauty therapist with her own salon - 'repents'.

The exiled priest said that his wife 'understands her mistakes (and) knows what she did wrong' - yet she has not repented, and instead criticised the church.

Meanwhile Mr Zotova said his wife faced 'threats, abuse, and other angry messages' - and said he planned to call the police.

Mrs Zotova received a barrage of criticism for her 'sinful' behaviour and 'glamour lady appearance' despite no photos of her being risqué. 

She is accused of 'flaunting' her 'luxury lifestyle' by showing off her 'red lips, pink skirt, high heels and iPhone' when priests and their wives should be 'modest' and 'demure'.

Some comments made online were also 'offensive and threatening'.

Father Feodor Saprykin, chairman of the church court, told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper: 'It is a great sin when the wife of a priest exposes herself like this.

'Father Sergiy Zotov will not go back to his previous place of service until his wife repents.

'What kind of priest is he, if he can't manage his own family?

'How can he run the local church community?' 

The couple had parental permission to marry when both were under 18 and they have been wed for 15 years. 

The contest - called 'You Are Unique' - included women from all walks of life, married and unmarried.

Mrs Zotov had to remove her social media accounts but far from repenting over her Miss Sexuality title, she hit back: 'Yes, I took part, what is the problem?'.

Her critics claimed she and the priest had taken a holiday to Barbados which both strongly deny.

The mother-of-two admitted the contest reached its culmination during Orthodox Lent - but said the date was changed at the last minute.

'I had already put so much effort into it,' she said.

'I came back home, asked my husband what to do. He said – 'make up your mind yourself'.

'So I decided to take part.'

Mrs Zotov said she is from a deeply religious family, and her brother is also a priest and that she obeys religious restrictions by wearing modest clothes and covering her head when she goes to church.

She said: 'I never wear too open clothes or a low neckline. I do not wear skirts that are too short.

'I put on shorts but only when on holidays.

'Of course, some people may get confused with my girlish style which is bright and unusual.'

The mother says the constant bullying has made her feel ill and has affected her family. 

She said: 'I am feeling ill from all this now. I am getting support from my family and friends.

'I am a calm person,

'I am not going to hide or to suffer depression.

'But this bullying affected all my family.

'I had to shut down my accounts in all social networks.'

Many critics accused her off hypocrisy.

She said: 'What you must know about priests and their wives - they preach one thing and behave in a different way.'

But Mrs Zotov has won support too for being a 'modern woman'.

She said: 'Wives of priests are usually tearful and grey-looking women.

'We are sick and tired of this.

'This wife is doing well.

'She is bright and modern women, I wish to see more of such wives.'

This article has been adapted from its original source.    

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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