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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Catholics in Belarus Arrested

by Christopher A. Ferrara

As the regime of Vladimir (the “Practicing Christian”) Putin tightens the screws on the Catholic Church in Russia, neighboring Belarus is following suit. On November 19, 2002 Zenit.org reported the first fallout from the new “law” enacted by communist dictator Lukashenko, which subjects the Catholic Church and other religious bodies to more or less total state control. According to Zenit: “Two lay Catholics face massive fines after being detained for protesting a new law that restricts freedom of religion.” (Zenit, in turn, cites a report by, Keston News.)

Zenit notes that the two Catholics, Igor Zakrevsky and Sergei Peskin, are now facing trial after staging a protest in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Zakrevsky told Keston that “We wrote to Parliament protesting against the law and collected petitions, but that didn’t help, so we decided to take to the streets to express our opposition.”

And what are the particulars of their crime? As Zenit notes “The two carried placards displaying slogans such as ‘The authorities want to control our souls.’ They walked around the central streets, then stood by the statue of Lenin opposite the Parliament building, where they were detained.” So, two Catholics have been arrested in Belarus for writing to the Parliament, collecting petitions and protesting in the street — by the statue of Lenin opposite the Parliament building.

The statue of Lenin? Opposite the Parliament building? But how could there be a statue of Lenin by the Parliament building in Minsk if — all together now — communism “fell” in 1991, thanks to the miraculous events following the “consecration” of Russia by John Paul II in 1984? Indeed, how could Belarus still be a communist dictatorship under Lukashenko, with close ties to the regime of the “Practicing Christian”, if communism is dead?

But we must not trouble ourselves with anything as insignificant as the evidence of our senses. After all, Cardinal Sodano and his Vatican apparatus assure us that the Message of Fatima “belongs to the past”, while Msgr. Bertone (in his “commentary” on the Third Secret of Fatima) declares that publication of the vision of the “bishop in white” — without any words of the Virgin to explain it — “brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil…”

And if you believe that, you will believe anything.