Disturbing video has emerged of a priest covering a toddler's mouth and forcefully submerging him in a violent 'exorcism-like' baptism.
Mum Anastasia Aleksyeva has claimed her son sustained bruises, scratch marks on the neck and shoulder and suffered from panic attacks.
Footage shows the one-year-old boy crying as the ceremony, which was held in a small church in Gatchina, Russia, begins.
As priest Vasily Necheporenko, also known as Photios, carries the boy to the baptismal font, the boy appears to be resisting.
According to the Russian Orthodox tradition, a child has to be dipped three times in holy water in order to be baptised.
But the video shows the priest lifting the boy up and dipping his head into the holy water with force.
The boy appears to be visibly distressed as the priest covers his mouth and submerges him at the font.
Anastasia quickly ran to the front to stop the priest and attempted to take her son back.
However, the priest pushed her away and insisted on continuing the baptism.
She told Russian media following the event over the weekend: "After the first immersion, I understood that the baby was drowning.
"I began pulling it (from the priest's arms). The child has scratch marks on the neck and shoulder. It now suffers from panic attacks, it's hysterical."
The family decided to report the incident to the police after the ceremony.
The footage was posted online where users blasted the priest over his 'demonic' behaviour.
Commenters called the priest 'insane' and said what he did was similar to those who were 'possessed by the devil'.
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