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Belarus expels Polish-born priest

June 05, 2017

The government of Belarus has forced a Polish-born Catholic priest to leave the parish that he has served for nearly 10 years, denying him a new visa.

Father Robert Maciejewski, who was a parish priest in Mstislav, was denied a request for an extended visa. The government gave no explanation for the decision, but the government of Belarus has in the past sought to restrict the ministry of foreign-born priests.

The government also recently denied the request of another Polish-born Catholic priest, Father Slawomir Laskowski, to become a citizen of Belarus. Following that decision, Father Laskowski, who had served in Belarus for 28 years, returned to Poland.

Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk has urged the government to ease the current law that denies permission for foreign-born clerics to lead religious services without government approval.

 
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