Metropolitan Filaret: "The Church is making efforts to stop the execution of death verdicts"
The head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church responded to the applicatioon of Tamara Sialiun, whose son was sentenced to capital punishment. Metropolitan Filaret stressed that the Belarusian Orthodox Church opposes the death penalty in Belarus.
"The Belarusian Orthodox Church is making efforts to stop the execution of death verdicts in our country, which fully complies with the provisions set out in the "Fundamentals of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church”, reads the answer, signed by Metropolitan Filaret. “Christian moral upbringing instilled in people's minds a negative attitude towards the death penalty. Abolition of the death penalty would give more opportunities for pastoral work with those who stumbled, and for their own repentance."
It is also reported that the letter of Tamara Sialiun and Metropolitan Filaret's response were directed to the Commission of Pardons at the Presidential Administration . The head of the main board of the Administration DzianisKolas stated that the documents were attached to the case file and would be taken into account when considering an application for a pardon.
Bear in mind that on 12 June 2013 the Hrodna Regional Court found Pavel Sialiyn guilty under four articles of the Criminal Code: Art.139 Part 2, paragraphs 1 and 6 (the murder of two persons, with particular cruelty), Article 205 part 1 (theft), Art . 347 Part 1 (desecration of corpses), and Art.378 (theft of personal documents) and sentenced him to death. The Supreme Court upheld the verdict. The convict and his mother applied to Aliaksandr Lukashenka for pardon. Mr. Sialiun also applied to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations through his representative Andrei Paluda.