MOSCOW (AP) — Belarusian authorities have allowed a Roman Catholic priest to return to the nation after denying him entry for months.
Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk and Mohilev arrived in Belarus on Thursday. Kondrusiewicz was barred from coming into the ex-Soviet nation for almost 4 months after his criticism of the Belarusian authorities’ crackdown on protests demanding the resignation of the nation’s authoritarian chief.
Kondrusiewicz was denied entry on Aug. 31 whereas he was returning to Belarus from a visit to Poland. The following day, Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko accused the 74-year-old archbishop of “delving into politics and dragging believers” into it.
Lukashenko’s reelection to a sixth time period within the Aug. 9 presidential vote was broadly seen as fraudulent, sparking large protests which have continued since then, regardless of a brutal police crackdown that has seen over 30,000 protesters detained.
The archbishop’s return adopted Lukashenko’s assembly earlier this month with a high Vatican diplomat who visited Minsk.
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