"Divide the believers" What the Russian intelligence services warned the Belarusians

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"Divide the believers" What the Russian intelligence services warned the Belarusians
MOSCOW, October 2 — RIA Novosti, Anton Skripunov. The United States wants to pit Catholics against Orthodox Christians in Belarus and is preparing provocations that may force believers to take radical steps. Such concerns were expressed by the head of the Russian foreign intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin. The Russian Orthodox Church is also afraid of this. Is it really possible for politicians to play a "religious card" with Belarusians? - a RIA Novosti correspondent asked.Protests in Belarus have not subsided for almost two months. Demonstrators rally, security forces detain them. But, unlike the August actions, people with crosses and in cassocks do not stand between the opponents.In the first days after the elections, when the situation in the country was heated to the limit, priests acted as mediators in conflicts. Especially in the West of the country."In many cities, government officials met with protesters. On the eve of the police Department chiefs came to the Catholic priests. We asked them to be there to prevent a wave of spontaneous violence. And they really calmed down, called for a dialogue," recalls Catholic Artem Tkachuk, who participated in the actions in Hrodna.Now the passions have subsided a little and the clergy no longer take to the streets EN masse. However, Church officials try to help the flock. For example, pull out of the bullpen or petition in court."Just the day before yesterday, a well-known surgeon was tried in Grodno. Alexander Silenzi — believer, at the meetings attended with the icon and the cross, prayed. The case was opened about participation in an unauthorized action. His co-religionists, led by a priest, arrived at the meeting to support him. And with them — an Orthodox priest and a Protestant pastor," says Artem.And this is in a city that knows firsthand about religious clashes. In the 17th century, during the thirty years of Russian-Polish war, Grodno was at the epicenter of the confrontation between Catholics and Orthodox.Icons in local churches remind of those bloody times. In the Orthodox — the Martyr Athanasius of Brest, whom the poles tortured to death with a hot iron. In the Catholic — priest Andrey Boboli, he was cut down with sabers by the Cossacks of Bogdan Khmelnitsky.Long-healed wounds, it seems, decided to open. According to the Russian foreign intelligence service, the US wants to incite conflict between Christians. Both denominations are the largest in Belarus. About 80 percent of Belarusians are baptized from right to left, that is, in the Orthodox way. And about 15 percent — from left to right, in the Catholic manner.According to Naryshkin, us intelligence agencies are planning to arrest or even injure and kill one of the authoritative Catholic clergy. The aim is to encourage believers "to participate more actively in street protests."The Russian Orthodox Church is concerned about the intelligence information. And for good reason: in neighboring Ukraine, the internal Church schism has not subsided for 30 years, and with it, inter — confessional conflicts between Orthodox and Greek Catholics that have arisen on political grounds."We must make every effort to prevent religious organizations from being drawn into political confrontation," Alexander Shchipkov, first Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Department for Church — society and media relations, told RIA Novosti.Alexander Lukashenko also warned the clergy against attempts to politicize themselves. Otherwise, he said, "the state will not look at this with indifference."Anyway, believers are involved in the political agenda. Hence the desire to pit them."On Internet forums, I see a tendency: someone seeks to oppose the interests of Catholics and Orthodox. First of all, those who call the popular unrest in the country "Pro — Catholic" or "Pro-Polish", deliberately dividing citizens, - says Archpriest Sergiy Lepin, head of the information Department of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.Such attempts, though isolated, alarm believers. After all, the position of the BOC, as well as the Catholic Church, according to the priest, boils down to one main message: to stop the conflict."We are even blackmailed: they say that if you do not accept our point of view, we will leave the Orthodox churches. But we explain that we don't keep anyone by force. We want people to know our position. Many anti — Orthodox comments on the Web are related to her lack of understanding," Lepin notes.According to him, Belarus is a country of inter — religious peace. Although it is one of the few in the post — Soviet space that once experienced bloody feuds between believers."We were at war, and we didn't like it. Therefore, even theoretically, there are no issues that could be resolved by aggression or other forms of unfriendly confrontation. Belarusians are very friendly people, especially at the household level. As they say, "anyhow, the man was kind and did not steal potatoes," the priest explains.Representatives of the Catholic Church argue the same way. The vicar General of the Minsk-Mogilev Archdiocese, Bishop Yuri kosobutsky, is sure that the clergy do not receive political instructions from anyone."Today, the Catholic Church in Belarus speaks the truth about the situation in the country, opposes violence, calls for solidarity, unity, harmony, peace, and forgiveness," he said in an interview with reporters.Nevertheless, it was the Catholics against the backdrop of protests turned out to be the center of attention. The August incident with the dispersal of demonstrators in Minsk had a great resonance. Then the riot police blocked people in the Cathedral of Simeon and Elena and did not let anyone out for an hour. The security forces motivated this by the fact that they wanted to protect the faithful from the protesters. The head of the Catholic Church of Belarus, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusevich, called for an investigation into the incident.A couple of days later, on August 31, he, a citizen of the country, was not allowed into Belarus. President Lukashenko explained that the cleric was put on the list of non-entry persons because he was returning home "having received certain tasks" in Poland. He has repeatedly accused the neighboring state of trying to manage protests in Minsk and other cities.Belarusian Catholics deny links to other governments, although many are ethnic poles. They live mainly in the West of the country, in the Grodno region. And they also talk about attempts to draw them into a large ethno-confessional confrontation."If someone wants to play the religious card for political purposes and pit the Catholics against the Orthodox, it is unlikely to succeed. The last clashes of this kind were in the XIX century, when after entering the Russian Empire, Catholic churches were converted into Orthodox ones. But now it is impossible to quarrel with people who live in peace and harmony, — says Catholic Alexander (name changed at his request), a resident of the city of Lida, Grodno region. "We have, for example, a lot of interfaith marriages."Both in the Orthodox and Catholic communities, believers are on both sides of the political confrontation, all the Agency's interlocutors note. Therefore, we are talking about a conflict between "those who agree and disagree with the results of the elections", and not at all between the directions of Christianity.
Источник: https://ria.ru/20201002/katoliki-1578078418.html
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