Hlybokaye: ideologists try to intimidate priest Yury Barok

2009 2009-04-13T19:00:45+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/ajury_barok.jpg

The ideologists of Vitsebsk oblast are of the opinion that the meetings with creative intellectuals, organized by the priest Yury Barok in the town of Hlybokaye, are gatherings of the opposition.

‘The story started in November last year. On 2 November, the Day of Commemoration of Ancestors, I prayed at Hlybokaye cemetery for the dead and for victims of Nazism and Communism, for all victims of injustice of the past times’, said the priest at a press-conference of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party. ‘Several days after, I was summonsed to the office of Hlybokaye ideologist Mikhail Charapkouski. He accused me of distortion of the historical truth, because he thought that Communism and Nazism could not be equaled. The official even stated that I shouldn’t even have spoken about victims of the Communist ideology, because there weren’t any. In response I said that I had my own opinion about it and I had the right to explain these events in my own way. That’s how our meeting ended.

Later there was organized a number of meetings with historians, writers and journalists. For instance, in the church there were meetings with the editor of ARCHE Valer Bulhakau, Andrei Dynko from Nasha Niva and presentation of translation of the book Winnie the Pooh into Belarusian by a native of Hlybokaye Vital Voranau. These meetings were of historical and cultural orientation and nobody talked about the politics there,’ said Yury Barok. ‘But recently the chancellor was summonsed to Vitsebsk oblast executive committee and told that the oblast ideology department had received a letter from the appropriate structures in Minsk. There were enlisted all faults of Hlybokaye region including meetings with ‘incorrect’ musicians, writers, historians and journalists. The ideologists insistently advised to take measures against me and my activities and stated that otherwise the state would use other means of influence. In the letter it was also written that I had been detained in Minsk at the Freedom Day action in 2008 and fined. They also mentioned my participation in a constituent assembly of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party.’

The priest considers the actions of Vitsebsk oblast ideologists as an attempt of intimidation. ‘I consider it absurd and groundless that meetings with creative people should conform to some ideological criteria,’ he emphasized.