Russian Orthodox Priest Fotiy Necheporenko was filmed forcefully submerging the one-year-old into the water at a church in Gatchina, Russia, as the child and his mother scream in terror.
His mother Anastasia Alexeeva, 24, intervened after the priest aggressively picked the panic-stricken child up and attempted to force his head under the water multiple times.
However, despite the crying mother’s attempts to take her child back, the priest was filmed refusing.
Necheporenko appeared to place his hands over the child’s face before forcing him underwater again.
The disturbing footage recorded the mother’s echoing screams as she desperately attempted to take her crying baby off him.
During the incident, her headscarf came close to being set alight by candles.
A church source said “violent” was a mild description of what had occurred.
Before he was suspended, the priest strongly defended himself and blamed the mother’s “high emotions” before claiming she was “without church experience”.
Anastasia said: “The baby had scratches on his shoulder and neck.
“He is afraid of everything now. He was in panic and hysteria.”
After she got her shaking son back, the priest told her that he had been christening children the same way for 26 years.
But Anastasia said: “He did everything to hurt the child.”
Before he was suspended, the priest strongly defended himself.
He declared: “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 the christening.”
According to Orthodox church rules, the baby must be dived three times under the water.
The priest added: “This is what I did. The baby did not swallow any water, he did not hit the walls of the baptismal font.
He insisted: “I performed my church duty.”
Before the service, the priest had accused Anastasia of not knowing the Lord’s Prayer by heart and not being sufficiently religious.
After the horror service, she reported the priest to police near St Petersburg where a probe has been launched.
Meanwhile, the church authorities have intervened and banned the priest from conducting services for a year.
He was also summoned to explain himself to the church authorities.