Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Priest Lazar released from KGB jail

Naviny.by

The Roman Catholic Church in Belarus has announced in a statement that priest Uladzislaw Lazar has been released from the KGB detention center in Minsk, BelaPAN said.

"The Apostolic Nunciature in Belarus was informed by the country’s appropriate agencies that there were no longer grounds for holding priest Uladzislaw Lazar in the KGB detention center," the statement says. "It was decided that during the investigation, which is still in progress, the priest should stay in a permanent place, having freedom of movement and action in accordance with certain norms, and the obligation to daily register at a police station. The apostolic nuncio was asked to take priest Lazar from the KGB detention center."

Uladzislaw Lazar, pastor of Holy Spirit Descension Parish in Barysaw, Minsk region, was placed in the KGB jail in early June 2013.

In a statement issued on September 12, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Belarus announced that the Rev. Lazar was facing a charge of handing over "money and material valuables" to a person accused of spying for a foreign state.

"Today, after much effort and a long wait, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Belarus received information from government agencies about the detention of priest Uladzislaw Lazar," the statement said.

The priest "was really arrested by the KGB and is being held in the KGB’s detention center in Minsk," the statement said.

The Rev. Lazar, a citizen of Belarus, graduated from the Higher Theological Seminary in Hrodna and then completed a theological course in Poland. He served in Maryina Horka and Rudzensk, Minsk region, before being appointed pastor of Holy Spirit Descension Parish in Barysaw in April 2013.