Saturday, December 4, 2021

    Orthodox Belarusians stand up for Archbishop Artemiy expelled by ROC Synod

    Two petitions have been posted on the platform following the sacking of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) Exarchate’s Archbishop Artemiy (Kishchenko), the only bishop of the Belarusian Orthodox Church (BOC) to condemn the latest presidential election fraud in the country and violence against protesters that ensued.

    That’s according to Chrater97% with reference to Belsat.

    We urge you to drop all fear of those in power and to preach directly and openly God’s commandments “Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” and “Thou shalt not steal.” Any dealings with ministries and agencies that bring devastation and death will lead to great tragedies, because a house that’s been divided from within will not stand,” wrote the authors of the first petition, addressing the BOC Synod.

    The motion brands as a sin and disgrace the inaction by the Church of Belarus in defending unjustly imprisoned and tortured people. The authors of the petition have called to preserve the integrity of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, not allowing anti-church forces to interfere in the lives of parishes and dioceses.

    Another petition addresses the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, arguing that the removal of Archbishop Artemiy (Kishchenko) from office should be repealed.

    “We declare our rejection of both your decision and the corresponding petition of the BOC Synod. As far as we are aware, Archbishop Artemiy never asked to step down and managed the diocese brilliantly,” the petition reads.

    The authors are convinced that the bishop was removed from the ministry only because his voice is a nuisance to the authorities, who “with the church’s hands” decided to get rid of him. This, in turn, destroys public confidence in the church, the petition explains.

    The report recalls that Archbishop Artemiy (Kishchenko) of Grodno was dismissed by the ROC Synod on June 9 for accusing Belarusian authorities of rigging election results and violently cracking down on peaceful protesters.

    The same meeting of the ROC Synod appointed Bishop Anthony (Doronin) as a replacement, who on the contrary forbade priests to take part in rallies and speak out on socio-political issues.