Belarusian Catholic Archbishop’s passport is canceled after he criticised government & called recent election ‘not fair’
At the end of August, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz of Minsk and Mogilev was turned away at the Belarusian border when coming from Poland, despite being a natural-born citizen of the country he wished to enter. The refusal of Belarus' border guards to let him in directly contravened the country's constitution. Despite not receiving an explanation at the time, the cleric has now been informed that the authorities opted to cancel his passport.
“You were not allowed to cross the state border because of a decision made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to invalidate your passport,” a State Border Committee letter explained.
He has asked the ministry to clear up the situation. Following the official refusal to let him into the country, the Belarusian church leader was supported by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who tweeted that the archbishop should be allowed to "tend to his flock during the ongoing protests.”
Belarusian authorities should allow the re-entry of Archbishop Kondrusiewicz, so he can tend to his flock during the ongoing protests. He and all Belarusian people must be allowed to exercise their fundamental freedoms, including freedom to worship. https://t.co/S5Gyiq7SdB— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 1, 2020
Just prior to being refused entry, Kondrusiewicz had publicly called the country's controversial presidential election "not fair," and had criticized the Belarusian authorities for their handling of the ensuing demonstrations and protests. According to Kondrusiewicz, "this is a different generation than 26 years ago," and the Belarusian people have now grown to defend their rights.Also on rt.com ‘We have a somewhat authoritarian system’: Belarus’ Lukashenko proposes creating new constitution less reliant on president
Kondrusiewicz was born in 1946, in the Belarusian village of Odelsk, on the border with Poland. Unlike Poland, an overwhelmingly Catholic country, just 17 percent of Belarusians are part of the world's largest Christian church. Kondrusiewicz's trip abroad may have raised eyebrows in Minsk, especially after Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko accused Poland of orchestrating anti-government protests. Kondrusiewicz himself is of Polish descent.
If you like this story, share it with a friend!