Bishop and priest warned for criticizing siloviki

The Prosecutor General’s Office has responded to public statements by priests who criticized the actions of the authorities and security forces.

On November 18, at the General Prosecutor’s Office, the head of the Synodal Information Department of the Belarusian Orthodox Church Syarhei Lepin and the Bishop of the Minsk-Mahiliou Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the Republic of Belarus Yury Kasabutski were issued official warnings about the inadmissibility of breaking the law, the agency reported.

The warnings came in response to the posts of the priests on Facebook after the security forces destroyed the memorial to the murdered Raman Bandarenka.

Bishop Yury Kasabutski.

Syarhei Lepin. Photo:

“I don’t understand why there is a mockery of the portraits of the murdered man, of flowers in his memory, why this satanic trampling of lamps and icons, a fight against an impromptu memorial in the courtyard, along the roads …? What’s the point? Not approved, right? But this behavior and attitude – are they approved? By whom?” Lepin asked.

The prosecutor’s office considered that “such actions are inadmissible and unacceptable, since they fall out of the fundamental role of the church in achieving mutual understanding, tolerance and harmony in society, but also encourage citizens to show aggression, perform illegal actions, and resolve issues in an unconstitutional way.”

The priests were also accused of their statements contradicting Article 16 of the Constitution, which prohibits the activities of religious organizations, their bodies and representatives, directed against civil consent.

The General Prosecutor’s Office also issued an order to the Commissioner for Religious and Ethnic Affairs, where it demanded “to eliminate the revealed violations and take additional measures to prevent disagreements in the sphere of relations between the state and religious organizations.”

The Square of Changes has become a national memorial. Raman Bondarenko died the night before in the hospital after being brutally detained and beaten by unknown assailants. Minsk, Belarus. November 13, 2020.
Photo: TK / Belsat