Minsk-Mogilev Archdiocese Yury Kosobutsky and press secretary of the BOC Sergei Lepin were officially warned that breaches of the law would not be tolerated. This was reported by the press service of the General Prosecutor’s Office.
The General Prosecutor’s Office is zealously fulfilling the orders of Alexander Lukashenko. Only the day before he was outraged by the position of the clergy, who condemned the dismantling of the Roman Bondarenko memorial in Changes Sqaure, and the next day the department took action.
On Tuesday, 17 Novermber, addressing high-ranking officials, Alexander Lukashenko read out: “‘The behavior of security forces indicates the increasing fear of the government of the Belarusian people.’ This is what one of priests is writing. The second one is echoing his words, ‘I don’t understand why they are scoffing at the portraits of the victims, at flowers in their memory, why they need this devilish disregard for memory lamps and icons, why they ruin improvised memorials in the yard of his house, along roads?'”
After that, he instructed the head of his administration, Igor Sergeenko, together with the Prosecutor General, to “assess these statements”.
They noted that in the statements that representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches posted on social networks, “certain terms and phrases are used in a deliberately categorical aggressive tone […], increasing the level of tension in society, inciting hatred towards representatives of state authorities, including law enforcement agencies, and, as a result, enmity towards these social groups of the population.”
“Such actions are unacceptable and intolerable, since they not only do not meet the fundamental role of the church in achieving mutual understanding, tolerance and harmony in society, but also encourage citizens to aggression, illegal actions, and resolving emerging issues in an unconstitutional way,” reads the statement.
The General Prosecutor’s Office noted that such statements are contrary to the Constitution and the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations.
Besides, the General Prosecutor’s Office issued an order to the Commissioner for Religious and Ethnic Affairs, in which it demanded that the revealed violations be eliminated and additional measures taken to prevent disagreements in relations between the state and religious organizations, the press service reported.