Oksana Zotova won a beauty contest known as ‘Miss sensuality’ in the Russian town of Magnitogorsk. Nothing special you would say, were it not that Ms Zotova is married to an Orthodox priest known as Sergei Zotov, who used to perform mass in the Cathedral of Magnitogorsk.
However, after seeing that his wife participated in a ‘sinful’ contest (an anonymous account on Russian social news aggregator Pikabu revealed that she was the wife of a priest) which the Orthodox church deems beauty pageants to be, the pair have now been exiled to a remote village of only 4,000 people.
Oksana, a young mother of two, claims she fell victim to an online harassment campaign after photographs of her participation in the beauty contest were leaked last week.
“Sergei Zotov will not be rehabilitated until his wife repents,” Archpriest Feodor Saprykin, who chairs the diocesan court, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda.
“What kind of a priest is he if he can’t control his own family? How will he control his own parish?”
The woman meanwhile claimed that she faced online harassment and calls for her to refrain from participating from the church, but it was in the end her girlfriends who persuaded her not to give up: “They long persuaded me to participate in the competition. I decided to follow through.”