Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Report about the 4th constituency congress of the Belarusian Christian Democrats

On Saturday, 17 December, the party Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) held its fourth Constituent Congress in Minsk. The congress gathered 108 delegated from all over Belarus and more than 350 guests, including heads and representatives of diplomatic missions from Great Britain, USA, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and guests from Austria, Hungary, Ukrain and Russia. Pavel Sieviarynets, the BCD co-chairman, accused to three years of labour camp, regretfully, could not be present at the Congress and the president Vital Rymasheuski was detained shortly after the congress. Fortunately Vital was released after spending five hours at the police. The BCD therefore strongly requested to release and the rehabilitation of Pavel and the 13 other political prisoners: Ales Bialiatski, Andrei Sannikau, Dzimtry Bandarenka, Mikalai Statkevich, Dzmitry Dashkevich, Eduard Lobau, Mikalai Autukhovich, Yauhen Vaskovich, Ihar Alinevich, Aliaksandr Frantskevich, Mikalaj Dziadok, Artsiom Prakapenka and Pavel Syramalotau. 

During the congress many important topics were discussed and the strategy for 2012-2013 was adopted. After this congress, the BCD will apply again for the legal registration to the Belarusian Ministry of Justice. The BCD international committee wrote in their communique that: "More then thousand signatures of the BCD founders will be provided as part of the necessary registration documents. The reply from the Ministry should come within a month after the submission of the application. The BCD asks its sister parties and friends to pay close attention to the process of registration of the BCD."

Although I was also officially invited to participate to the congress, the Belarusian authorities in Bucharest told me that it would not be possible to give me the urgent visa in time (as in previous years) because of the "changed regulations". However I left a message that was read in Russian during the congress. You can read my message below:

Dear participants of the constitutive congress, dear friends!

Thank you for the invitation to the fourth constitutive congress of the Belarusian Christian Democracy. It would be an honor and a pleasure for me to participate and to support you in your fight for freedom and your battle for recognition: for the official recognition of your party which has been active in the society already for so many years. However due to changed regulations, it seemed not be possible for me to obtain a visa for Belarus in time in order to be able to participate. In any case in my heart and with prayers I will be with you during the congress.

As regional representative East Europe for the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM) I felt specially connected with the BCD. I never forget the time when I heard about the terrible repressions December last year. Together with our friends from the ECR (European Parliamentarian group) we tried to take care that the victims of the BCD were not forgotten in the resolutions made by the European Parliament and that the BCD was seen as a full and respected oppositional party in Brussels. We have kept national and European politicians informed about the situation in Belarus and about the BCD. Therefore I am very pleased about our collaboration and the sharing of information with each other not only as partners but as friends. I am impressed by your battle for recognition in such difficult circumstances. However I strongly believe that things will change and maybe are already changing!

Last but not least I already want to wish you blessed Christmas holidays although probably the calendars of celebrating these holidays are different. Before Christmas there is the time of Advent: the time of hope, of expectation. In the Middle of the darkness, Jesus our Savior was born: as written in Isaiah 9:6 "for to us a child was born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called wonderful Councelor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!": our Hope, our Perspective

I wish and pray you protection, wisdom, love and peace for all the work you are doing and a fruitful congress!

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