In Belarus thousands of protesters of the election results have been detained, including a number of priests. At least four people have died in the unrest.
Electoral officials said that the opposition candidate, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, earned 10% of the vote. The opposition claims that she actually garned at least 60% of votes.
Tsikhanouskaya was detained for several hours after complaining to the electoral committee. She and several other opposition leaders are now in self-imposed exile in Lithuania or other nearby countries.
The US, UK, and EU no longer recognize Lukashenko as the Belarusian president. Canada, the UK, and the EU have placed sanctions on senior Belarusian figures.
Lukashenko secured a $1.5 billion loan from Russian president Vladimir Putin earlier this month, and Putin has denounced "external pressure" on Belarus.
In September the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mohilev denied reports from Russia's foreign intelligence agency that the Church in Belarus is being used by the US, calling them "complete nonsense, fake information."
"Some media outlets published information provided by the head of Russia's foreign intelligence service Sergey Naryshkin. This is a fake, this is nonsense. He spoke about some provocations, about the fact that the United States, the CIA and other organizations are trying to use the Catholic Church to undermine the state system in our country," Bishop Yury Kasabutski said during his homily at a Mass in Minsk.
Naryshkin is director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service. The Russian news agency Interfax reported Sept. 29 that Naryshkin had said, "the United States is also unceremoniously interfering in the religious situation in Belarus … The clergy of the Roman Catholic Church are being asked to openly criticize the Belarusian authorities and to use religious events, including sermons, prayers, religious processions, to conduct opposition political propaganda among believers."
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz has told CNA: "I was accused that I received from Warsaw some instructions, or something, but I didn't visit Warsaw." He said he had visited eastern Poland to celebrate the First Communion of a relative.
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz was born in 1946 in Odelsk, in what was then the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (part of the USSR), to an ethnic Polish family. The Byelorussian SSR was succeeded in 1991 by the Republic of Belarus.