Russian Orthodox Priest Fotiy Necheporenko has been suspended by the church leadership for alleged violent baptism of a one year old baby.

Priest Necheporenko forcefully drunk the naked baby in the font.

Upon seeing the incident the mother of the child screamed in terror as the frightened child was being repeatedly forced into the water.

Distraught mother Anastasia Alexeeva, 24, recalled how she grabbed back her son during the incident at Marienburg church, in Gatchina near St Petersburg.

She said: ‘He did everything to hurt the child. ‘He saw that he was big, that it was not possible to dive him into such a small font. ‘He had to splash the water on his head. ‘But still he decided to do it his way. ‘The little one was crying and wriggling. I was afraid, I ran to him. I tried to take the child away. ‘I nearly caught fire myself because my scarf touched the candles around the font.’

The boy, named Demid, is said to have scratches on his shoulder and neck after the ordeal, which cost the family 3,500 roubles (£45).

His mother said he is now ‘afraid of everything’ and suffers from ‘panic and hysteria.’

Defending himself Father Necheporenko said he has be ministering in the church for 26 years.

‘I have been christening children like this for 26 years.’ Said the Father.

He continued by accusing the mother of the young child mother of not knowing the Lord’s Prayer by heart and not being sufficiently religious.

He added: ‘So what actually happened? Nothing, and it is not my fault at all. ‘It was all about the mother’s high emotions. ‘She is a person without church experience. She was not ready for christening.’

According to Orthodox Church rules, the baby must have his head dunked under the water three times.

The church said the baptism was ‘violent’ and have suspended Father Necheporenko for a year. Ms Alexeeva has reported him to the police and a probe has been launched.

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