CNA Staff, Aug 12, 2020 / 12:01 pm
The Archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev called Tuesday for an end to the violent clashes occurring across Belarus following a disputed presidential election.
"At this crucial moment in our history, in the name of the God of boundless mercy, love, and peace, I call on all parties to the conflict to end the violence. May your hands, created for peaceful work and fraternal greetings, lift neither weapons nor stones. Let the force of argument, based on dialogue in truth and mutual love, prevail over the argument of force," Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, who chairs the Belarusian bishops' conference, wrote Aug. 11.
Protests began Aug. 9 after president Alexander Lukashenko was declared to have won that day's election with 80% of the vote. Lukashenko has been president of Belarus since the position was created in 1994.
Electoral officials said that the opposition candidate, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, earned 10% of the vote. She was detained for several hours after complaining to the electoral committee, and has fled to Lithuania.