Valerian Trifa

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Valerian Trifa (monastic name of Viorel D. Trifa, known in Eastern Orthodox Church records as Valerian (Trifa); June 28, 1914 – January 28, 1987) was a Romanian Orthodox cleric and fascist political activist, who served as archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church in America and Canada. For part of his life, he was a naturalized citizen of the United States.

A prominent affiliate of the Iron Guard, a Romanian fascist organization also known as the Legionnaire Movement, Trifa played a part in provoking the Legionnaires' Rebellion of 1941. His antisemitic discourse was suspected of helping instigate the parallel pogrom against the Jewish community in Bucharest. After being singled out as a rebel by Ion Antonescu, Romania's Conducător and a competitor of the Iron Guard, he spent the final years of World War II in Nazi Germany, as a detainee with privileged status. Trifa subsequently made his way into the United States, where he came to lead the Romanian-American Orthodox community into opposition with the main Orthodox church in Communist Romania.

Beginning in 1975, his wartime activities came to the attention of the United States Department of Justice, and the subsequent inquiry made Trifa relinquish his American citizenship and move to Portugal. The scandal's ramifications came to involve several institutions, including the National Council of Churches, Radio Free Europe, West German law enforcement, and the Israeli and Portuguese governments, while allegations surfaced...
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