Foreign Priest Deported from Belarus
As Christian Human Rights House learned, a foreign Christian priest, US citizen Decker Travis Todd has been deported from Belarus. The formal reason for the deportation is the annulment of the temporary residence permit, issued by the police. In the annulment order it is stated: ‘As migration and citizenship department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus informed in its note #40/15c of 28 February 2007 reported about the abovementioned foreigner, he has relation to activity aimed at inflicting harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus’. It is not specified which activity was considered as ‘harm to the national security’.
Mr. Todd worked in one of charity organizations and went to a Protestant church in Minsk.
Recently there have been about ten such cases. One can speak about a campaign against foreign priests. Most often they are deported for ‘treat to the national security’ based on information received from KGB.
During his recent press conference dedicated to the campaign For protection of the right to freedom of conscience the pastor of Minsk Jesus Christ Church Barys Charnahlaz pointed that at present many priests are pressurized by secret services and face the danger of being deported.