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Monastery of Sin: Bogus Miracle Cures and “Holy” Sex Shock Cyprus

Monastery Cyprus
The Agios Avakoum monastery in Cyprus. Credit: Public Domain

The events in a Greek Orthodox monastery in Cyprus have stunned public opinion on the island as more allegations including bogus miracle cures and sex between monks come to light.

Police intervened at Agios Avakoum monastery, where two monks were allegedly found to be having sex and receiving thousands of euros in cash they claimed were donations.

An emergency Holy Synod meeting on Friday decided the two monks, embroiled in the scandal, would head to ecclesiastical court.

The sexual encounters between the monks on the monastery premises were even recorded on video from security cameras they had installed themselves. They felt in complete control of the environment and did not turn off the cameras, which recorded everything.

According to resident Sofronis Sofroniou, the revelations to date are merely the tip of the iceberg, and the deceptions taking place in the surrounding communities, which also drew miracle-seekers from far and wide, have a more sinister dimension.

Speaking extensively to state broadcaster RIK, Sofroniou, an award-winning writer, painted a disturbing picture of the past three years.

Since 2021, after a popular broadcast managed to convince a large proportion of the population that “something big” was happenin,g people began swarming to the monastery looking for healing miracles, Sofroniou said.

Sofroniou described how the situation got so out of hand that he was having to guide lost visitors on their way to the site on a daily basis.

“I and some others felt it was necessary to begin observing the situation, especially after some outrageous incidents were brought to our attention,” Sofroniou said, according to Cyprus Mail.

Monks at Cyprus monastery created a side-show of bogus miracles

Sofroniou went on to describe the case of an elderly woman who had been exhorted to donate €5,000 towards decorating the saint’s grave (under the church foundation), leaving her desperate and unable to afford her electricity bill.

Other elderly residents also proceeded to “donate” plots of land and property or money. “After a while, I decided it was necessary to speak to the police because of the severity of the situation,” Sofroniou explained.

However, when he tried, the process was extremely cumbersome, and he was met with resistance.

“When I called police after first being grilled as to why I was even pursuing the matter and what I might stand to gain by it, I was told that the police themselves visit the monastery,” he revealed. “When they finally seemed to grasp the gravity of the situation […] I was told it was nonetheless sanctioned by the bishopric and [the police’s] authority had its limits.”

Sofroniou described how, in addition to direct extortion of material goods from the faithful, a large side-show of miracles and pilgrimages was being orchestrated by private entities with a lot of social media clout, locally, in Greece and elsewhere.

“This sideshow was being conducted by individuals with over 100,000 followers advancing the ‘religious trade’ and presenting weekly videos of supposed miracles,” Sofroniou noted.

Earlier, Christos Andreou, a police spokesman, clarified to CyBC that two lines of investigation are currently underway. The first concerns claims by clerics who reported financial crimes of their members. The second is an inquiry into statements brought to police by four monks, including claims of kidnapping.

Related: The “Miracle Snakes of Panagia” Appear Again on Greek Island of Kefalonia

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