Selin ATAY-TDO- Belarusian officals have barred Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, the head of the Catholic Church, from entering the country. The block came a day after when the Catholic Church head warned the nation’s political crisis could give rise to a civil war.

Border guards blocked the 74-year-old archbishop of Minsk and Mohilev from entering from neighboring Poland on August 31 in spite of him being a citizen of Belarus.

The president of the Belarusian bishops’ conference has been a vocal critic of the brutal constraint on protesters in the wake of the country’s disputable August 9 vote.

President Alyaksandr Lukashanka was declared the winner of the election, which was widely seen as rigged. Therefore, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets over the past three weeks to protest the results. Hundreds were injured and at least six people were killed during the protest.

In an address read at Catholic churches on August 30, the head of the Catholic Church wrote that the country faced an “unprecedented sociopolitical crisis” and the prospect of civil war.

“In a peace-loving and tolerant Belarus -- as our country is known in the world -- brother raised his hand against his brother, as a result of which blood was shed and many people were injured. More and more often you can hear the opinion that the threat of a civil war is becoming real, which none of us could have even thought of a few months ago,” the metropolitan said.

“From the very beginning of the sociopolitical crisis, the Catholic Church has encouraged prayer and called problems to be solved through dialogue,” Kondrusiewicz added.

Kondrusiewicz condemned police beatings and detentions of protesters. In his message to Belarusian government officials, “The beating of peaceful demonstrators who want to know the truth, their cruel treatment and inhumane detention, is a grave sin on the conscience of those who give criminal orders and commit violence,” he said.

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