The Lukashenko regime arrested another Catholic priest

On November 22, Fr was arrested. Vyacheslav Pyalinak serves at the Parish of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Brest, Belarus.

According to unofficial information, he was accused of “extremism”. This is the second Catholic priest in a week to be persecuted by the Belarusian regime. On November 17, Volozhyn’s parish priest, Father, was arrested. Henryk Ototowicz.

Detention of a priest

According to the website Christian Vision, which monitors the persecution of Christians, the priest was arrested on November 22 this year. after the morning service at the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Brest, where the priest is currently officiating. According to parishioners, security forces took the priest’s phone and laptop during the arrest.

Father Wyacheslav Pyalinak is 48 years old, including 21 years in the priesthood. He is parish priest of the Vitebsk diocese, but currently serves in the parish of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Brest in the Pinsk diocese (on the border with Poland). The priest was the first personal secretary of the Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti (2011-2015), currently Cardinal and Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for the Eastern Churches.

The reasons for the detention are unknown, but according to unofficial sources the priest was accused of “extremism”. Such accusation is a broad concept in Belarus and means any actions or statements in public or on social media that are considered critical of the current regime. There are currently 3,520 names on the ‘extremist list’ (as of November 17, 2023). The list of people described as ‘extremists’ includes the names of both those currently serving a sentence and those who have already been released. People placed on the ‘extremist list’ are subject to various restrictions for five years after their criminal record expires. “Such persons cannot, among other things, engage in educational activities, hold public office or perform military service. In addition, if a person on the list receives money into the account, the bank will be obliged to report this fact to the competent state authorities,” reports Belsat, which itself was recognized as an “extremist formation” in 2021.

Fr. Vyacheslav Pyalinak is the second Catholic priest arrested in the past week. On November 17, the priest was arrested. Henryk Otokowicz from Wołożyn, who was charged with “high treason”, punishable by 7 to 15 years in prison.

Source: Do Rzeczy