LAST UPDATE 21:53
By Kostas Onisenko
The -disputed- President of Belarus stated today that the opponents of his political power want to announce the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Belarus.
“They go with the tried and tested path – announcement of Autocephaly. Letters went to Constantinople, letters went to Metropolitan Benjamin, he told me himself. And here we see such a reversal.
We must do everything possible to maintain our basic qualification – interfaith peace – in Belarus,” Lukashenko said during a visit to a Belarusian monastery.
It is worth noting that Ecumenical Patriarchate’ sources, said to orthodoxtimes.com that no such request has reached Constantinople nor has anything relevant been discussed.
“I will not go into details. I will just remind you that against the background of this pandemic, as they called it, they initially tried to shake us and, as we see today, to break us,” Lukashenko said, arguing that priests were among those involved in his “plan” to overthrow him, as he characterizes the peaceful demonstrations of the citizens.
“In the beginning, they applied a blitzkrieg method, which did not succeed, then followed the games with the people (it refers to the gatherings of the citizens).
Unfortunately, the temples also participated in this. There was an attempt to involve almost all the Catholics (temples), and many participated in this.
And among us, there was some unrest among the Orthodox, which today the Metropolitan (the Exarch of the Russian Church Benjamin) and the Orthodox Church coped with. (…) however we should not be complacent,” said Alexander Lukashenko.
It is recalled that in August last year there were mass demonstrations in Belarus against widespread electoral fraud in the presidential election and then against the widespread police violence against protesters.
The international community has not recognized Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus as the legal procedures during the elections were not observed in the slightest.
EU sanctions have been imposed in the country over police violence and the recent kidnapping and abduction of opposition journalist Roman Protasevic.