(Source: CD/Pax Christi International)
Following worrying developments in Belarus, Msgr. Marc Stenger (Co-President of Pax Christi International) has sent a letter to Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk, expressing deep concern over escalating tensions in the country.
In the letter, Pax Christi International’s co-president conveys the peace movement’s message of solidarity with the Belarusian people, hoping for a peaceful transition in their country, and its admiration for their courageous nonviolent resistance actions.
Through the letter, Pax Christi International denounces the use of the violence, arbitrary detentions, and torture, as well as violation of the right to freedom of expression.
It also condemns the fact that security forces have been blocking access to churches, where protesters have been seeking shelter.
The peace movement asks for the violence to stop, human rights to be respected and for a dialogue to be initiated, so that Belarus can start the path towards democracy and everyone’s rights can be fulfilled.
“Belarusians rightly demand their government uphold the dignity of each person”
Full text of Bishop Stenger’s letter to Archbishop Kondrusiewicz
Troyes, 1 September 2020
Your Excellency, Dear Brother,
I am writing to you as Pax Christi International is deeply concerned over escalating tensions in your country in the wake of the presidential elections held on 9 August 2020. On behalf of our global Catholic movement for peace, I would like to express our solidarity with and admiration for the nonviolent resistance actions taken by Belarusians reflecting their strong desire for a peaceful transition in your country.
As a peace movement we denounce the use of the violence, arbitrary detentions, and torture, as well as violation of the right to freedom of expression.
We condemn security forces blocking access to churches where activists seek shelter during protests, as this is a violation of the right to worship and to seek protection.
It is in stark contrast to the many Belarusian people protesting on a daily basis without any recourse to violence. They act in a nonviolent way for democratic values and their fundamental human rights to be respected.
Belarusians rightly demand their government to uphold the dignity of each person, on the basis of the guarantee of fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression. We ask for the violence and human rights violations to stop and the necessary dialogue to be initiated, for which the OSCE has offered its help as mediator, so that Belarus can start the path towards being a democratic society, in which everyone can fully enjoy their rights.
At this crucial moment in history, we are standing with you and your people, we support you and we pray for you.
+ Marc Stenger
Bishop of Troyes
Co-President of Pax Christi International