Posted by: becketfund | October 1, 2007

Belarus: Hopes for Decrease in Number of Foreign Religious Workers

Forum 18 reports that Belarus’ vice-premier, Aleksandr Kosinets, recently voiced his opinion that the Catholic Church should phase out the number of foreign clergy in Belarus during the coming years, sparking fears that other religions would be pressured to do the same. Though Belarus’ Jewish and Orthodox communities contain foreign religious leaders, the Catholic Church in Belarus relies most heavily on foreign clergy. There are at least 192 foreigners among the 381 Catholic priests in Belarus, and an additional 105 foreign Catholic nuns. Over the last two years, at least 14 Catholic priests and nuns have been forced out of the country, and religious workers arriving to work with other denominations have been denied entry.

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