Estimated read time: Less than a minute
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
MOSCOW (AP) — Gleb Yakunin, a dissident Russian Orthodox priest who was defrocked and later excommunicated, has died at age 80.
His widow, Iraida, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he died Dec. 25 from complications of Lou Gehrig's disease.
Yakunin, who denounced persecution of religious believers, served several years in prison in the 1980s and angered the church by accusing its top officials of having collaborated with the KGB during Soviet times, when the church was closely watched by the officially atheist state.
He was defrocked in 1993 for ignoring a ban on priests running for elections in the post-Soviet Russian parliament, where he served for two years. Four years later, he was excommunicated for unspecified reasons.
Along with his widow, three children survive.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.