Minsk: Evening prayer and singing under OMON surveillance

“Hands off Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz”. Solidarity rally in front of Red Church in Minsk. 1 September 2020. Photo: TK/belsat.eu/vot-tak.tv

On Tuesday evening, several hundred people gathered in front of the Red Church in Minsk.

Believers, including Orthodox Christians and Protestants, were praying for the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus which has come under huge pressure from the authorities.

Solidarity rally in front of Red Church in Minsk. 1 September 2020. Photo: TK/belsat.eu/vot-tak.tv

Earlier, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka commented on the reasons for Roman Catholic Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz’s being denied entry to Belarus. According to him, the prelate got into the list of banned persons, because he ‘mixed church and politics’ and ‘got certain tasks from Poland’.

In mid August, Kondrusiewicz called on the Belarusian authorities, including president Lukashenka, to put an end to growing police violence in the country. In his opinion, the bloodshed in the streets of Belarusian cities, as well as battering and ill-treating protesters are nothing but a ‘heavy sin on the conscience of those who give criminal orders and do violence’.

Prayer in front of Red Church in Minsk. 1 September 2020. Photo: TK/belsat.eu/vot-tak.tv

On August 31, municipal workers changed locks on the doors to the presbytery of the Red Church; last week, OMON riot policemen blocked it when dozens of peaceful protesters were trying to hide there.

Prayer in front of Red Church in Minsk. 1 September 2020. Photo: TK/belsat.eu/vot-tak.tv
Solidarity rally in front of Red Church in Minsk. 1 September 2020. Photo: TK/belsat.eu/vot-tak.tv

On September 1, Belarus’ Knowledge Day, lots of students took to the streets in the morning to protest against vote rigging and the authorities’ harsh response to dissidence. Some of the participants in the march also showed up at the solidarity rally in Independence Square; paddy wagons and police vans immediately arrived there. Women formed a human chain around men to prevent riot policemen from grabbing them. The protesters were singing the Belarusian folk song Kupalinka in front of OMON lines.

80 persons, including a dozen journalists, were detained during Tuesday’s protests, Belarusian human rights defenders report.

Offbeat Knowledge Day: Students march, OMON detain protesters (photos, video)

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