News from Europe

Priests arrested in Belarus

The two priests were arrested and then were detained for 10 - 15 days for alleged diversionary activities. No one from the Catholic Church could be present at their court hearing.

Father Andrzej Juchniewicz and Father Pawel Lemekh were arrested on the 8th of May. The two Belorussian priests of Polish descent are detained. They are accused of extremism and alleged diversionary activities against the Belarusian state.

At the court hearing of the priests, no one from the Catholic Church was permitted to attend.  The information about the hearing, sentencing, their current status, and their detention condition is unknown. According to a Belarusian opposition spokesman, the denial of access and information about the priests is a common strategy in Belarus to raise fear and uncertainty.

The charges against the priests were “alleged diversionary activities against the Belarusian state.” Unofficial information suggests that they were sentenced to 10–15 days in prison for “extremist” content they posted online.

Local Catholic officials tried every possible way to gain access to the detained priests and help them, but they were refused. Now they ask for prayers for the release of the priests and to give them strength during their hardships.

Source: UCAnews

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