Three Polish priests will have to leave Belarus

2008 2008-12-15T19:28:01+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to the ruling of the Committee on the affairs of nations and religious, three Polish priests working on the territory of Hrodna diocese will have to leave the country as their terms of stay are not extended.

The priests from the parishes in Halynets, Porazau and Slonim weren’t let to stay in Belarus next year. They can continue their religious activities only till the end of 2008.

As father Stanislau said to RFE/RL, there are not enough priests in Hrodna diocese and the authorities should not limit the presence of Polish priests on the territory of Belarus:

‘If they purposefully reduce the presence of foreign priests on the territory of Hrodna diocese, there will state a great trouble. Its essence is that nowadays the seminary is unable to satisfy the demands for the parishes in Belarusian priests. Foreign priests must work on the territory of Belarus for at least 10 years more.

In February 2008 the Soviet of Ministers adopted a ruling according to which the order for invitation of foreign priests to the country was determined. According to the document, foreign priests and nuns can stay in Belarus for one year. This term can be shortened or extended without obligatory explanation of reasons. One of such reasons can be the absence of knowledge of the state languages: Belarusian and Russian.