In January, 1897, sixty kilometres from the city of Kungur, in one of the most picturesque places in Perm province, the missionary monastery of St. Nicholas was opened on the White Mountain (Belaya Gora), Osinsk uyezd. The opening and building of this monastery was accompanied by clear signs of God's help. The superior was Archimandrite Barlaam, a man of deep faith and a great ascetic, to whom people thirsting for salvation came from all corners of Perm province.
Hierodeacon Euthymius was born Vladimir Trophimovich Korotkov on July 27, 1882 in a peasant family from Osinsk uyezd, Perm province. On December 8, 1903 he and his brother Alexis entered the Belogorsk monastery. And then came their father. He liked the place so much that he decided to stay and lived there until his death, before which he received the monastic tonsure. On November 10, 1905 Vladimir was numbered among the decreed novices. On December 5, 1905 he was vested in the ryasa, and on October 14, 1912 he was tonsured. On March 29, 1913 he was ordained to the diaconate, and was then appointed to serve in the monastery's podvorye in Perm. At the beginning of the First World War, Alexis was enrolled in the standing army and spent the whole war in the army, taking part in many battles; he was awarded the St. George Cross for bravery. In February, 1918 he was disbanded and went home. >From the train he went straight to the monastery podvorye. The joy of the brothers' meeting for a time eclipsed their worried premonitions about the anarchy that was raging around them. The news reached Perm that Soviet power had passed a law nationalising church property. Everywhere there were rumours about the attacks of armed bands on churches and monasteries. The brothers had only two days in which to rejoice; on the third day calamity struck the community.
The Belogorsk monastery was basically a missionary institution; missionary activity was conducted not only against the errors of the Old Believers and sectarians, but also against the materialist teachings of the West. That is why the Bolsheviks hated the Belogorsky monastery more than all, and immediately they had collected an armed band they set out to destroy it. On February 9 (21, according to another source) they burst into the podvorye. They entered the cells, turned everything upside-down and took whatever pleased them. The people began to murmur. Then the Korotkov brothers, among others, were arrested. They took them out to the bank of the river Kama and began to torture them. The passion-bearers behaved with great courage. They were tortured and killed, and their mutilated bodies were exposed on the ice to frighten the populace.
On February 25 they were buried. As the bell of the Belogorsky podvorye tolled, all Orthodox Perm came out for the funeral. Thousands of candles surrounded the biers. One pannikhida after another was performed. The grace of God touched the hearts of the worshippers, and everyone saw that two new stars in the firmament of the Perm martyrs had risen. Shortly after the martyric death of the brothers, their mother and sister received the monastic tonsure.
The Korotkov brothers laid the beginning to the martyric exploit of the Belogorsk monastery. But there were many others.
In March, 1919 Bishop Boris (Shipulin) of Perm visited the once flourishing monastery. He saw the bodies of some of those monks who had been killed six months before, which had been thrown into pits and covered with rubbish. When they were cleaned, it turned out that they had not been subject to corruption, as if the dead had only fallen asleep the day before. On the basis of this the bishop said that God was glorifying those who had been pleasing to Him.
Working together with Hieromonk Joseph, temporary administrator of the Belogorsky St. Nicholas monastery, Bishop Boris compiled a list containing the names of 42 Orthodox Christians, including 36 monks, who had been tortured and shot by the Bolsheviks. Pravitel'stvennij Vestnik for May 3, 1919, quoted the following from Bishop Boris' article Permskiye Vedomosti: "The most fevered imagination cannot represent that which the Perm diocese suffered during the Bolshevik terror, the mindless savageries and most refined tortures that the Bolshevik genius thought up. Of the best of the pastors, those who were most popular and beloved by the people, some were shot, others were buried alive in the earth, a third group were skinned after their arms had been cut off, and a fourth group were drowned in the rivers, frozen in the ice. For weeks and months they were languished starving in the prisons... The times of Diocletian and Decius pale into significance by comparison with the time our Church had to live through in 1918."
Here are some details about the martyrs:-
Archimandrite Barlaam was born Basil Efimovich Konoplev on April 18, 1858 in Yugo-Osikinsk zavod, Osinsk uyezd, South Knuafa voloist, into a mineworking peasant family belonging to the priestless Old Believers. After long searchings for the truth the young Basil was united to the Orthodox Church in the following way. On June 18, 1893, Bishop Peter of Perm consecrated the foundation-stone of the St. Nicholas monastery. There was a prolonged drought in the region at that time, and it occurred to the Old Believers that if this, most Orthodox bishop could by his prayers bring rain to the region, they would join the Orthodox Church. On the day of the consecration a gentle rain fell, followed by a downpour. Basil publicly brought bread and honey to the bishop, who then prophesied that he would not long remain in the darkness of schism. On October 17, 1893, Bishop Peter united Basil to the Church, and on November 5 he became a novice in the Perm Hierarchical House, being vested in the ryasa the next day. Six months later he became a monk with the name Barlaam. On February 2, 1894 he was ordained to the diaconate, and on February 22 - to the priesthood. On January 30, 1897 he was appointed superior of the Belogorsk monastery, and on June 24, 1902 was raised to the rank of igumen. In that month the foundation-stone of the Exaltation cathedral, one of the finest in Russia, was consecrated. The cathedral was finished in 1914. From 1905 to 1907 he worked with the patriots of the "Union of the Russian People". In 1907 he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On May 8, 1910 he was raised to the rank of archimandrite. On December 8, 1910 he was given an audience with the Tsar, gave him some icons and spoke to him about the patriotic article of the Belogorsk igumen Fr. Seraphim, "An Appeal to the strengthening of Faith, the Tsar and the Fatherland". In January, 1914 he was awarded the order of St. Anna, third class. At about the same time the Tsar thanked him for being president of the congress of the "Union of the Russian People" in Motovihila. He was elected an honorary member of the provincial section of the Union, and spoke at meetings and served molebens for the health of the members of the Union. In May, 1916 he was awarded the order of St. Anna, second class. On June 10, 1917 he went to the All-Russian Monastic Congress in the Trinity - St. Sergius Lavra. From August 15, 1917 he was a participant in the first session of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. In October he returned to Belogorsk, and on November 7, "being invited deceitfully to a meeting in Yugo-Osokinsky zavod (now the village of Kalinino), he was arrested together with the spiritual father of the monastery, Hieromonk Vyacheslav. He was sent to the town of Osa and after being bestially tortured was cast by the Bolsheviks into the river Kama." According to another source, he was shot on August 12, 1918 on the road to Osa.
Hieromonk Vyacheslav was born Andrew Efimovich Kosozhilin on August 18, 1879 in a peasant family in Osinsk uyezd. On June 27, 1901 he entered the Belogorsk monastery. On January 5, 1904 he was vested in the ryasa, and on June 6, 1905 was tonsured. He was ordained to the diaconate by Vladyka Nicanor of Perm (1905-1908) and was transferred to the Hierarchical House as keeper of the vestments. On November 11, 1911 he was appointed spiritual father of the Belogorsk monastery. He was arrested on August 12, 1918 and was killed by the Bolsheviks.
Igumen Anthony (Arapov) was born in 1880. On June 19, 1897 he entered the Belogorsk monastery. On June 22, 1905 he was ordained to the diaconate, and not later than 1909 - to the priesthood. In 1909 he was appointed dean of the Belogorsk monastery. Fr. Anthony was an outstanding missionary-preacher. His sermons, like those of the superior, Archimandrite Barlaam, drew thousands of pilgrims to the Belogorsk monastery. In 1911 he was appointed treasurer of the monastery. At this time the cathedral was only half-built and no inside decoration had been done. Thanks to the energetic activity of Fr. Anthony, the hearts of the pilgrims were moved to make rich offerings, and the cathedral was completed and richly decorated. Fr. Anthony fulfilled the function of acting superior both of the monastery and of the skete in the absence of Archimandrite Barlaam and Igumen Seraphim. On June 29, 1917 he was raised to the rank of igumen. Late in 1917 there was published in Perm his remarkable work, "The Symphony of the Covenants, Types and Prophecies from the Old Testament with the New Testament Gospel Story, the Utterances of the Lord Himself, of the Holy Apostles and Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church, witnessing to the fact that the Only-Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is True God and True Perfect Man, the Hope and Salvation of the whole of suffering mankind." In November, 1917 he became superior of the Belogorsk monastery. In 1919, when the Reds attacked, Fr. Anthony and part of the brotherhood withdrew with the armies of Admiral Kolchak. He was arrested and shot in Irkutsk in 1919.
Hieromonk Elijah was born James Vasilyevich Popov on November 1, 1887 in a peasant family in Yugo-Kamsk zavod. On June 14, 1902 he became a novice in the chancellery of the Belogorsk monastery. In June, 1913 he was tonsured, and from November 12 became chief clerk of the monastery. On October 1, 1918 he was taken to Osa by the Bolsheviks and killed, being found with bayonetted neck and pierced palms - he had probably been crucified
Hieromonk John was born James Adriyanovich Novoselov on March 19, 1879 in a peasant family in the village of Novoselovo, Kotelnich uyezd, Vyatka province. On April 11, 1913 he was tonsured, and on September 25, 1917 - ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Theophanes of Solikamsk. On October 14, 1918 he was arrested and sent to forced labour and for his refusal was thrown alive into a hole in the ice in the River Kama.
Hieromonk Joasaph was born John Romanovich Sabintsev on January 2, 1880 in a peasant family in Ufa province, Sterlitamak uyezd. On October 20, 1908 he entered the Belogorsk monastery, and on December 30, 1912 was tonsured. On April 20, 1913 he was ordained to the diaconate, and on June 29 - to the prieshood. On October 10, 1918 he was arrested by the Bolsheviks and taken to Osa, where after being tortured he died in hospital.
Hieromonk Sergius was born Alexander Gavrilovich Vershinin on March 6, 1881 in a peasant family from Verkhoturye uyezd. On August 25, 1904 he entered the Belogorsk monastery, and was tonsured on September 16, 1909. On September 25, 1909 he was ordained to the diaconate, and on November 27 - the priesthood. On January 4, 1916 he was transferred to the brotherhood of the Hierarchical House, but later, on October 25, was transferred back to the monastery. On April 29, 1917 he was retired and placed at the disposition of the Protopresbyter of the Army and Navy. In September he returned to the monastery. On August 29, 1918 he was appointed temporary superior of the Belogorsk monastery. On October 10, 1918 he was arrested by the Bolsheviks and taken to Osa, where he was found with bayonetted neck and pierced palms - he had probably been crucified.
Hierodeacon Bissarion was born Basil Isidorovich Okulov on February 26, 1880 in a peasant family from the village of Nikitin, Osinsk uyezd, Perm province. On September 15, 1909 he entered the Belogorsk monastery, and on May 1, 1916 was tonsured. On October 8, 1917 he was ordained to the diaconate. On November 16, 1917 he became acting treasurer. On October 14, 1918 he was "arrested by the Bolsheviks and sent to Perm to forced labour and for his refusal was thrown alive into the Kama."
Hierodeacon Micah was born Peter Ignatyevich Podkorytov on January 17, 1876 in a peasant family from Shadrinsk uyezd, Pschansk volost. On June 20, 1903 he was received into the Belogorsk monastery, and was tonsured on August 14, 1905. On January 27, 1908 he was ordained to the diaconate. In November, 1918 he was arrested by the Red Army in the Iveron monastery near Kungur and was shot in Perm.
Hierodeacon Matthew was born Michael Yakovlevich Bannikov on November 8, 1881 in a peasant family in Osinsk uyezd, Ordinsk volost. On April 12, 1914 he was received into the Belogorsk monastery, and in November, 1915 he was tonsured. On June 25, 1918 he was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Theophanes of Solikamsk. On October 14, 1918 he was "arrested by the Bolsheviks, sent to forced labour and for his refusal was thrown alive into the river Kama".
Monk Arcadius was born Andrew Semyonovich Noskov on September 28, 1889. He was tonsured on October 11, 1915. On October 14, 1918 he was taken out of the Belogorsk monastery by the Bolsheviks, arrested and for his refusal to be mobilized was shot.
Monk Barnabas was born Benedict Alexandrovich Nadezhdin on March 4, 1873. On May 10, 1910 he entered the Belogorsk monastery as a retired reader of Karsnoufimsk uyezd and on November 15, 1916 was tonsured. On October 14, 1918 he was taken to forced labour by the Bolsheviks. In January, 1919 he was killed by the Red Army in the village of Sudi, Osinsk uyezd.
Monk Hermogenes was born Alexander Ivanovich Boyaryshnev in 1888, in a peasant family of Osinsk uyezd. On August 5, 1907 he entered the St. Seraphim skete, some five kilometres from Belogorsk monastery. In August, 1914 he transferred to the Belogorsk monastery. On February 7, 1916 he was tonsured. in 1918 "he went to the village of Ashap on a summons and was shot by the Bolsheviks on October 6" for refusing to join the Red Army.
Monk Euthymius was born Emelyan Nikolayevich Sharshilov on July 18, 1887 in a peasant family in Bugurslansky uyezd, Samara province. On August 11, 1911 he entered the Belogorsk monastery, and was tonsured on November 11, 1916. On October 19, 1918 he was summoned to the village of Ashap on a summons and for his refusal to join the Red Army was killed by the Bolsheviks.
Monk John was born Leonid Vladimirovich Rotnov on August 2, 1885, the son of a Cossack captain. On September 8, 1908 he entered the Belogorsk monastery, and was tonsured in September, 1915. On October 19, 1918 he was killed for refusing to join the Red Army.
Monk Joseph was born Simeon Aristophov in 1887, in a peasant family from Elabuga uyezd, Vyatka province. On June 7, 1907 he entered the Belogorsk monastery, and was tonsured on March 11, 1908. On October 14, 1918 he was "summoned by the Bolsheviks to Ashap zavod and for his refusal was killed."
Monk Isaac was born Cosmas Georgevich Kovalevsky, and entered the Belogorsk monastery on June 19, 1911, being tonsured in September, 1915. In 1918, at the age of 29, he was "arrested for boldly reproaching the Bolsheviks and sent to the town of Osa and killed by them in a bestial manner on September 28".
Monk Marcellus was born Michael Lutov Kovalevsky in 1871 in a peasant family from Glazov Sabbas Timofeyevich Kolmogorov) "taken away on 14 October to forced labour, thrown alive into a hole in the ice of the river Kama" (+November, 1918Vyatka province. He was a widower, and illiterate. He entered the Belogorsk monastery on October 10, 1913, and was tonsured in December, 1916. On October 14, 1918 he was taken away to Perm for forced labour by the Bolsheviks, and for his refusal was shot after long tortures.
Novice Sabbas was born Sabbas Timofeyevich Kholmogorov in 1894 in a peasant family in Ekaterinburg uyezd. He was literate. On December 27, 1912 he entered the Belogorsk monastery, and was numbered among the novices on July 8, 1918. On October 14 he was "taken away by the Bolsheviks to forced labour, and was thrown alive into a hole in the ice of the river Kama (November)".
Also killed were: Monk Sergius (Jo.. M.. Samatov) (19 September, 1918), Ryasofor-monks Demetrius Fyodorovich (Sazonov), 30 years of age (+October 10, 1918), James Startsev (Zolet) (+10 October, 1918), Basil Guryanovich (Votyakov), 43 years of age (thrown into the Kama, November, 1918), Novices Maximus Ksenofontovich Kornilov, 20 years of age (+10 October, 1918), Andrew Ivanovich Tu.., 25 years of age (1 August, 1918 in the city of Osa), Basil Triphonovich Rakutin, 17 years of age (+19 October, 1918), and John. Novices James Ivanovich Danilov, 26 years of age (+10 October, 1918), Peter Charalampievich Rochev, 19 years of age (shot), Alexander Vasilyevich Arapov, 27 years of age (+10 October, 1918), Theodore Andreyevich Belkin, 19 years of age (+10 October, 1918), James, Peter and Sergius were shot for refusing to work on organising the feast of the October revolution and for refusing to fight in the Red Army against Kolchak.
Five kilometres from the Belogorsk monastery was the Seraphimo-Alexeyevksy skete, which was distinguished for its very strict asceticism. When the skete was seized by the Reds the following were tortured to death: Monks Sergius, John, Joseph, the skete steward Isaac, Ryasophor-monk Paul Alexeyevich (Balabanov), 26 years of age (+10 October, 1918), Novices Panteleimon L. Posokhin, 31 years of age (+10 October, 1918), Basil Maximovich Zmeyev, 33 years of age (+10 October, 1918), Simeon Fyodorovich Dunayev, 27 years of age (+10 October, 1918).
Hieromonk Barlaam Kiselev was a novice of the Belogorsk monastery. In 1924 he was tonsured and ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Arcadius (Yershov). He served in the village of Sapovo, Osinsky uyezd, Perm province. Here many icons had been brought from the Belogorsk monastery after its destruction. Among them was a highly venerated Iveron icon of the Mother of God. After the closing of the church this icon was sent by the Bolsheviks to a barrel maker's, where they made it into a small table and stamped on it. One morning Fr. Barlaam was passing by the barrel maker's and saw that it was on fire. He hurried to the village soviet to inform them. They said that he had set it on fire deliberately, and threw him into prison, from which he never returned.
Also killed for the faith in Perm province in 1918 were: (from Perm uyezd) the priest of the Holy Trinity Church Fr. Constantine Shirokinsky (+21 September); the priests of the Resurrection church Protopriest. John Pyankov and Fr. Alexis Saburov, and the priest of the St. Sergius church Protopriest Nicholas Yakhontov (drowned in the Kama in the night from December 3 to 4); the priest of the yedinovertsy church of the village of Sretentsky Fr. Peter Vyatkin (shot on October 9); the priest of the Yugovsky factory cathedral Fr. Alexis Stabnikov (shot on September 21); the deacon of the village of Sylvino-Troitsky Fr. Basil Kashin (shot with ten parishioners on December 4); the priests of the village of Kutlayevo Frs. Nicholas Beltyunov and Alexander Savelov (cut up with sabres and shot on December 17); the priest of the village of Krasno-Sludsky Fr. Alexander Posokhin (drowned in the Kama); the priest of Kosinsky Priisky Fr. Basil Komakin (shot); the priest of the village of Sergin Fr. John Shvetsov (shot); the priest of the village of Sylvino-Troitsky Fr. Sergius Kolchin (shot); the reader of the Yugovsky factory Anatolius Popov (shot); the reader of the village of Divinsky Alexander Zuyev (shot).
Archimandrite Matthew (Pomerantsev), the rector of the Perm theological seminary, was cut to pieces by sabres on August 14/27, 1918. Alexis Danilovich Zverev, a peasant from the village of Borisovo in Moscow province and a missionary, was killed by the Bolsheviks at the age of 45 in Perm. He was a member of the commission investigating the killing of Archbishop Andronicus (Nikolsky).
The priests of the city of Kungur Frs. Vladimir Belozerov, Paul Sokolov and Alexander Kalashnikov were shot. The reader of the village of Pokrovsky, Kungur uyezd, Basil Petukhov, died from hunger after being mobilised by the reds for work in digging trenches. The layman Peter Fyodorovich Melekhov, a peasant of the village of Dikari, Kungur uyezd, was shot. The priest Fr. Michael Zhidayev, who served in the village of Kochuvakhino, Kungur uyezd, was shot beyond the village fence. The reds allowed the body of the martyr to be taken and buried. When they were vesting the body, they saw that his fingers were formed to make the sign of the cross.
In Solikamsk and Solikamsk uyezd the following were killed: the deacon of the Spassky church Fr. Alexander Ipatov (shot on September 8); the priest of the church of the Nativity of the Mother of God Fr. Alexander Shkyaev (shot on the night to September 10); the priest of the Spassky church Fr. Gregory Goryaev (shot); the deacon of the Transfiguration church Fr. Basil Voskresensky (shot on the night to September 24); the retired priest of the village of Kudymkara Fr. James Shestakov (shot and piereced with bayonets ten versts from the village of Kholkovka on December 10); the priest of the Pozhvy factory Fr. Alexander Preobrazhensky (shot in the village of Ysolye); the priests of the Maikor factory Frs. Michael Kiselev and Alexander Fedoseyev (shot on the night to December 21); the priest of the village of Shamansky Fr. Nicholas Onyanov (shot in the village of Usolye, having dug his own grave); the priest of the village of Lenvy Fr. Alexander Makhetov (shot); the priests of the villages of Kudymkar and Peshnigort Frs. Nicholas Orlov and Sergius Lavrov (taken in an unknown direction and killed).
John Perebaskin, inspector of the Solikamsk theological school, was killed (no further details known).
The following clergy of the city of Cherdyn and Cherdyn uyezd were killed:- The priest Koturov, on being evacuated from Cherdyn, was seized by his tormentors. They ripped off his clothes and gradually poured water on him in the frost until he was turned into an ice statue. The sufferer did not emit a single groan or word of complaint. Protopriest Nicholas Konyukhov was tortured and shot at, and in the spring was found frozen to death and covered with ice. Protopriest Eugraphus Pletnev of the Transfiguration church and his son Michael, an officer, were chained hand to hand and taken on a steamer. In the machine-house they were scorched by the steam and tortured (+December 10). The priest of the village of Churakovo Fr. Ignatius Yakimov was seized while preaching and still wearing his vestments. He was tied to the tail of a horse and tortured before being shot. The priests of the village of Yuma Frs. Theodore Antipin and Nicholas Matsiyevsky were shot (+January 11). The priest of the village of Pyatigory Fr. Michael Denisov was shot. The deacon of the village of Yurly Fr. Arcadius Reshetnikov was shot (+December 28).
The following clergy of the city of Krasnoufimsk and Krasnoufimsk uyezd were killed: the priest Fr. Alexis Budrin was shot; the priest Fr. Leo Yershov, a missionary of the Krasnoufimsk cathedral, was beaten up and shot together with twelve other priests who were with him in prison in the city of Perm; the priest of the Suksun factory Fr. Anatolius Popov was shot (+December 7); the priest of the village of Verkh-Suksunsky Fr. Alexander Malinovsky was strangled in his epitrachelion and shot; the reader of the village of Bisertovo Athanasius Zhulanov was shot.
The following clergy of the city of Okhansk and Okhansk uyezd were killed: the superior of the Okhansk cathedral Fr. Vladimir Alexeyev was shot and thrown into the Kama (+December 16); the priest of the village of Senychey Fr. John Boyaryshnikov was shot (+August 22); the priest of the Ocher factory Fr. Alexis Naumov was shot (+August 22); the priest of the yedinovertsy church of the village of Vorobyevo Fr. Simeon Konyukhov was shot (+September 27); the priest of the Pavlovksonovsky factory Fr. Peter Kuznetstov was shot at the Vershagino station; the priest of the village of Chernovskogo Fr. Nicholas Rozhdestvensky and the priest of the village of Novo-Painsky Fr. Benjamin Lukanin were shot; the priest Fr. Paul Anishkin and the deacon Fr. Gregory Smirnov, serving in the village of Mokino, were shot and bayonetted; in the village of Ostrozhka the priest Fr. John, the church warden Peter Nosov and the assistant to the warden Nicholas were killed.
The following priests of the Osinsky uyezd were killed: the priest of the Ashan factory Fr. Valentin Belov and the priest of the village of Teles Fr. Alexander Osetrov were shot and cut in pieces; the priest of the village of Yersh Fr. Peter Reshetnikov was shot (+August 29); the priest of the village of Giblovo Fr. Constantine Tarasov and the priest of the village of Komarov Fr. Victor Nikiforov were shot.
The priest Fr. Peter Diakonov from Nadezhdin factory, Verkhoturye uyezd, Perm province was buried up to his neck in the earth and then shot.
Protodeacon Michael Ivanovich Tikhonov served in the village of Alexandrovsky. In the winter of 1930 he was sent by the authorities to do some logging, and died.
The priest Fr. Nicholas Mikhailovich Gashev was born in 1869 in the village of Uspenka. He was ordained to the priesthood for the church of the village of Ilinskoye, where he served for the whole of his life. In December, 1918 the tenth cavalry regiment, which was stationed in Ilinskoye, rebelled against the Bolsheviks. When the Bolsheviks went onto the attack, many, fearing reprisals, went with Kolchak to Siberia. Some counselled Fr. Nicholas to go with the Whites, saying that the Reds would not spare the priest, but he remained, and, when the Reds entered the village, he began to hide. However, he still went through the village in his rasa, which amazed the Red Army soldiers. He served for another ten years.
On December 30, 1929 an atheist lecturer from Perm arrived in Ilinskoye and gave some lectures on the them "Did Christ exist?" At the end of the lecture it was proposed that they immediately close the church. Fr. Nicholas convened a parish meeting in which about 400 people took part. It was decided not to give the church over to profanation.
On January 8, 1930 the OGPU arrested the priest. Witnesses summoned after his arrest said that he had "agitated among the believers, saying that they should defend the church at all costs, and called on them to fight for it against Soviet power to the last drop of blood. Moreover he pointed to the example of the first Christians, who accepted death for the faith... He went around the parish with an icon of the Mother of God, telling the parents that they should not let their children join the komsomol, because they would learn nothing good there..."
Fr. Nicholas replied: "With regard to the accusation against me that I conducted anti-Soviet agitation, I declare that I, like any citizen, am loyal to Soviet power. But I do not deny that as a clergyman I must zealously defend the faith of Christ and give an example in this respect to the parishioners. Therefore I really did call on the parishioners in church to strengthen their faith in God, to pray more often, giving as an example the early Christians, who suffered and were subjected to persecutions for their great devotion to the faith. All my conversations were of an exclusively religious character. I did not admit any utterances against Soviet power into my sermons, I celebrated the services according to the typicon, and avoided any kind of conflict with the authorities. Therefore I do not admit that I am guilty of anti-Soviet agitation. I did not conduct any conversations against Soviet power and did not organise any illegal assemblies."
On February 16 a Special Meeting at the OGPU exiled him to three years in the Northern Urals.
They allowed the priest's son, Vladimir, to see his father. Fr. Nicholas was gravely ill and walked with difficulty. The son, who came hoping to comfort his father, himself wept bitterly on seeing him in this state. Fr. Nicholas began to console his son and told him to give the message that he felt well, that nobody had done him any harm and could not do him any harm.
He was put into barracks where the conditions of life were similar to the camps. After a time Fr. Nicholas' wife, Kapitolina, received permission to visit her husband. When she arrived, the bosses warned her that Fr. Nicholas was very poorly and would die that day or the next, and if she did not want him the old man to be thrown into a common pit then she should order a coffin and grave today.
So they saw each other - and the wife took her still living husband's measurements for a coffin. But saying goodbye to one's dear one and accompanying him on his last journey was a great happiness and consolation given to very few...
The priest Fr. John Kotelnikov was the superior of the Belyaev monastery, not far from the city of Orda. He was distinguished by his love of the poor. He would give food to with the poor and all those who wanted to come to him after the service. Then after the meal Fr. John would tell them stories from the lives of the saints and the teachings of the ascetics. At the beginning of the 1930s the authorities arrested Fr. John and imprisoned him in Ekaterinburg prison. During the winter he was put in the basement naked, there was no glass in the windows, only an iron grill. And they kept him there until he froze to death. He was buried in the prison cemetery in Ekaterinburg.
34 clergy and monastics of various ranks (according to another source, 42) were killed in Perm province in connection with the Bolsheviks' requisitioning of valuables from the churches in 1922.
(Sources: Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, Noviye Mucheniki Rossijskiye, Jordanville, 1949-57, part 1, pp. 211, 213, 214, 216, part 2, p. 230; Vladimir Rusak, Pir Satany, London, Canada: "Zarya", 1991, p. 104; Hieromonk Damascene (Orlovsky), Mucheniki, Ispovedniki i Podvizhniki Blagochestiya XX Stoletiya, Tver: Bulat, volume 2, 1996, pp. 113-125; Victor Korolev, Lyubovyu Pobezhdaya Strakh, Fryazino, 1999, pp. 100-103; Grebnevsky Listok, 11, 1996, pp. 28-31; "Belaya Gora - Ural'skaya Afon", Pravoslavnaya Perm', N 2 (13), February, 1997, pp. 1-2; Za Khrista Postradavshiye, Moscow: St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1997, p. 94, 210, 211)
We confidently recommend our web service provider, Orthodox Internet Services: excellent personal customer service, a fast and reliable server, excellent spam filtering, and an easy to use comprehensive control panel.