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Brazilian Old Believer living in Siberian taiga faces deportation

October 10, 18:11 UTC+3 KRASNOYARSK

Old Believers are dissenters from the Russian Orthodox Church originating from a branch that had evolved from the 17th century schism to protest the liturgical reforms

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© Schukin Alexey/ITAR-TASS

KRASNOYARSK, October 10. /TASS/. An Old Believer (member of a group of Russian religious dissenters), who arrived in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Region almost 20 years ago as a child, is facing deportation, the press service of the Interior Ministry’s regional office told TASS on Wednesday.

Hanover (Onufri) Efimoff Le Queiros is currently residing at a temporary accommodation center for foreign nationals. Earlier, activist Olga Suvorova posted on Facebook about the twists and turns of his life. According to her, Onufri and his mother arrived in Siberia in 1999, when he was 12. Since then, he has been living in the remote taiga village of Chulkovo. That said the Brazilian has a wife and three children.

"On September 28, the court ruled to deport him from the Russian Federation," the Interior Ministry said, adding that local police and diplomats from Brazil’s Consulate are issuing documents for his return to the homeland.

Police say the Old Believer was repeatedly asked to get Russian citizenship, but he failed to do so.

Olga Suvorova, who represents the interest of his family, said Onufri had been summoned to the township of Turukhansk, and in order to get there he had to travel almost 300 kilometers by boat to hear the local court ruling on his deportation. According to her, the court ignored the fact that he has a wife and three children, because the marriage had not been registered officially. His children are registered in the birth certificates under the patronymic ‘Onufrievich’, while his own documents identify him as Hanover.

According to Suvorova, the family will file an appeal against the court decision. They have already arrived in Krasnoyarsk, where the children will undergo a paternity test.

Old Believers are dissenters from the Russian Orthodox Church originating from a branch that had evolved from the 17th century schism to protest the liturgical reforms.

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