Catholic Priest Robert Kszyvitski, a Polish national, was refused renewal of the visa for the year 2006.
Pastor Robert has been working in Belarus for over ten years. In Barysau he is the head of a Catholic parish, but now he has been refused a visa for the next year.
According to Pastor Robert, the Committee for Religions and Nationalities did not agree that he could stay any longer in Belarus. The deputy chair of the committee Uladzimier Lamieka said to Radio Liberty that unfortunately he did not have any detailed information and could not make any comments.
The information that Pastor Robert is being made to leave Belarus was met with large repercussions among the Barysau Catholics and the local youths. According to Zmitsier Barodka, a Catholic believers and a member of the Council of Civil Initiatives "Free Belarus”, residents of the city started to collect signatures against this decision: “The information that Pastor Robert did not get a renewed visa caused widespread indignation. The believers initiated the collection of signatures. He is known as a very honest man. Pastor Robert was absolutely uncontrolled by the authorities, he was warned that in he must be more careful expressing his opinions. People were interested in his sermons. The people deliberately went to hear Pastor Robert for inspiration, to understand the circumstances of their life, the life of the country. Some thought that the sermons contained criticism of the current authorities”.