Belarusian politician raises Orthodox church issue


Visit by Belorussian oppositionist to U.S.A. may lead to unexpected results

by Anna Sedova

Svobodnaia Pressa, 26 July 2021


The leader of the Belorussian opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, is continuing her tour around the United States of America, which began back on 18 July and will wind up on 31 July. Although Tikhanovskaya did not manage to meet with American President Joe Biden, she made up for the quality by the quantity of meetings both with American officials and with representatives of the Belorussian opposition of all stripes.


Thus, after Washington, she traveled to New York, where she met with representatives of the Belorussian Autocephalous Church and promised them to appeal to the patriarch of Constantinople with a request to grant a tomos of autocephaly.


We recall that this is what the former president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, did in his time at the end of his rule, and it was successful. In 2019, Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I and the Holy Synod of the Constantinople Orthodox Church issued a "Tomos concerning the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine," which recognized the official status of the Ukrainian autocephalous church. Previously Constantinople had recognized only the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Now Tikhanovskaya is promising a Minsk metropolitanate on the model of the Kievan one.


Yet another result of the prolonged visit was a discussion of new sanctions against Belorussia. As reported by the American publication The Wall Street Journal, after Tikhanovskaya's meeting with Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the American administration began considering the possibility of introducing new economic restrictions against Belorussia and the head of state, Alexander Lukashenko. The publication writes that after the urging of the opposition leader for greater strictness, representatives of the State Department announced the intention to introduce sanctions against Belorussian potash and oil sectors, since at the meeting Tikhanovskaya declared that these industries are close to Lukashenko and constitute an important part of Belorussia's economy.


Finally, yet another recent statement by the Belorussian oppositionist evokes interest. During her meeting with the Belorussian diaspora in New York, Tikhanovskaya reported that she does not think that there is a threat of the use of Russian forces against the Belorussian opposition. But she added that she is not a specialist and therefore "she tries to talk with those who understand military affairs."


It turns out that the self-proclaimed leader of the Belorussian opposition is discussing with American "partners" not only sanctions or even the separation of the Belorussian Orthodox Church, but also military matters. So it is not far to requests in the spirit of Ukraine to provide Belorussia American Abram tanks, to locate its bases, and to admit it into NATO. (tr. by PDS, posted 26 July 2021)



Union of Orthodox Journalists, 26 July 2011


Svetlana Tikhanovskaya met with parishioners of a church of the schismatic Belorussian Autocephalous Church (BAPTs) in Brooklyn, New York.


On 25 July, the former candidate for president of Belarus, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, visited the church of St. Kirill of Turov of the schismatic Belorussian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in New York, Belsat reports.


Tikhanovskaya met with parishioners of the church. The church choir greeted her with the song "God grant many years." The choir director explained to Svetlana that the church is open for representatives of all confessions.


The Belorussian oppositionist spoke with parishioners about the struggle for the freedom and construction of a new Belarus.


Representatives of the diaspora presented Tikhanovskaya a golden seal of the Rada of the Belorussian People's Republic from Ivonka Survilla and a copy of the cross of Euphrosyne of Polotsk. Svetlana presented them her book, "I am coming out," about the protests in Belarus.


Earlier, the Union of Orthodox Journalists has written that the Belorussian opposition has included "an autocephalous church" in its package of reforms, and Epifany [primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine—tr.] has urged Belarusians to ask for their own tomos from the Phanar. (tr. by PDS, posted 26 July 2021)

Russia Religion News Current News Items

Editorial disclaimer: RRN does not intend to certify the accuracy of information presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the articles as they appeared in news media of countries of the former USSR.

If material is quoted, please give credit to the publication from which it came. It is not necessary to credit this Web page. If material is transmitted electronically, please include reference to the URL,