12/09/2020, 09.42
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Tikhanovskaja to Pope Francis: Morals and faith also part of Belarussian crisis

by Vladimir Rozanskij

The leader in exile sends a letter to the pontiff recalling the mediation work of Msgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, in forced exile. The reference to "Fratelli tutti". A "Christian Movement" is growing among opposition, in which priests, theologians and simple Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant believers participate.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Protests in Belarus are taking on an increasingly "Christian" character due to the arrests of some Catholic and Orthodox priests. The "leader in exile" Svetlana Tikhanovskaja (photo 1), as she defines herself, has made public a letter addressed to the Pope of Rome, Francis, in which she explains that the crisis in Belarus "is not only a political issue, but also a moral one, which concerns life and faith ".

In the letter, Tikhanovskaja refers to the Metropolitan Archbishop of Minsk, Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, also in exile (photo 2), calling him "the real mediator for the solution of the political crisis in the country" for his immediate appeals to dialogue and cessation of violence. In her opinion, the Archbishop represents "the Church that puts itself at the service of the people, that leaves the safety of its home, and emerge from beyond the walls of its churches and sacristies, to accompany the life of the people, offer support and hope, be a sign of unity, build bridges and break down barriers, to make the seeds of reconciliation grow”.

In the Coordination Committee of the Belarusian opposition, notes the former presidential candidate, a working group called the "Christian Movement" has formed, in which priests, theologians and simple Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant believers, "who dream of living together peacefully, as true brothers ”. Tikhanovskaya intends precisely to tune in to Pope Francis’s encyclical "Fratelli tutto", in response to which she decided to send her letter to the pope.

In her opinion, the Belarusian people found themselves for many decades in the condition denounced by the encyclical. Point n. 53 speaks of the fact that "there is no worse alienation than experiencing not having roots, not belonging to anyone". After the tragedies and oppressions of the last century, the Belarusians had chosen a government "that would guarantee stability and security, but as we have seen, all this at the expense of freedom, the right to choose, autonomy".

The letter enumerates the many interventions of the clergy and believers of all confessions in support of popular protest, and concludes by hoping that the repression can cease as soon as possible, and Archbishop Kondrusiewicz can return to his flock. Then,  Tikhanovskaja turns to Pope Francis: "On behalf of the Belarusian people, we ask His Holiness to renew his prayers and continue to address his words of truth and justice to everyone, which are the true blessing for us all".

In the meantime, protests against the Lukashenko presidency continue. On 6 December the demonstrations took the title of "March of Wisdom", and took place according to the modalities of the last week, that is, through courtyard and building meetings, to avoid clashes with the Omon teams (photo 3). This avoided excesses of violence during the arrests, but not their quantity: once again 344 people were arrested, according to official police reports, for which all "saboteurs and activists with the prohibited flag of Belarus were arrested.” The white-red-white one.

In particular, the police blocked those who displayed the flag with the inscription Volnaja Loshitsa (photo 4), named after a populous suburb (Loshitsa) of the capital Minsk, where the hippodrome stands. The title has become symbolic for all opponents of the capital, and has also been adopted by many Belarusians abroad, who join the protests of their compatriots in their places of residence every Sunday.

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