Rewriting History

Oslo, Norway http://www.forum18.org/ Monday 12 May 2008
BELARUS: KGB PRESSURE ORTHODOX NOT TO VENERATE SOVIET-ERA MARTYRS

Belarus discourages the commemoration of Orthodox Christians killed for their faith by the Soviet Union, Forum 18 News Service has found. Today's KGB secret police have sought to have icons of the New Martyrs, as they are known by the Orthodox Church, removed from Grodno Cathedral. Russian Orthodox Deacon Andrei Kurayev told Forum 18 that "Some comrades from the local KGB asked local clergy why they were inciting the people in such a way." While there was no official
order to remove the icons - "it was on the level of a chat" - Kurayev reported that Bishop Artemi (Kishchenko) of Grodno and Volkovysk refused to take them down. "He told the KGB that he couldn't rewrite history."

KGB officers also often monitor visitors to Kuropaty, where New Martyrs are probably among mass graves of Stalinist repression victims, a local Orthodox source told Forum 18. The act of going there - even to light candles - is "fraught with tension" with the current Belarusian regime, according to the source. An Orthodox chapel planned for the site has never been built.

BELARUS: KGB PRESSURE ORTHODOX NOT TO VENERATE SOVIET-ERA MARTYRS

By Geraldine Fagan, Forum 18 News Service http://www.forum18.org

A generation after the Soviet Union's demise, Belarusian state representatives continue to discourage commemoration of Orthodox Christians killed for their faith by the Soviet regime, Forum 18 News Service has found. The KGB secret police have sought to have icons of the New Martyrs, as they are known by the Orthodox Church, removed from at least one cathedral. Belarusian Orthodox Church representatives appear to be nervous about publicly acknowledging New Martyrs believed to be among the many victims of the Stalin-era secret police at the mass killing grounds of Kuropaty (Kurapaty) on the northern edge of the capital Minsk.

The Moscow-based St Tikhon Orthodox University estimates that approximately 90,000 Orthodox were killed for their faith by the Soviet state. Over 1,000 New Martyrs were formally canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in August 2000.

In the western city of Grodno [Hrodna], however, the KGB have advised local Orthodox clergy to remove New Martyr icons depicting Red Army executioners with rifles from the city's cathedral, leading Russian Orthodox missionary Deacon Andrei Kurayev told Forum 18 on 5 May. Visiting Grodno in late 2006, Kurayev learnt that, "Some comrades from the local KGB asked local clergy why they were inciting the people in such a way." While there was no official order to remove
the icons from the Cathedral of the Protection of the Holy Veil - "it was on the level of a chat" - Kurayev also reported that Bishop Artemi (Kishchenko) of Grodno and Volkovysk refused to take them down. "He told the KGB that he couldn't rewrite history."

To read the entire article go to:
http://euphrosynoscafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8529

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