Minsk, September 14, Interfax - Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, who was traveling from Poland, has been denied entry to Belarus due to an invalid passport, the official website of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus said, citing the response received from the Belarusian State Border Committee.
"The letter signed by Belarusian State Border Committee Chairman Anatoly Lappo indicates the following reason why border guards have not allowed the metropolitan of Minsk and Mogilev to enter Belarus: 'Please be advised that you have been prohibited from crossing the state border due to the Interior Ministry's decision to invalidate your passport, that of a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, (passport number),'" a statement on the website said.
Kondrusiewicz was denied entry into Belarus from Poland on August 31 without explanation.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that Kondrusiewicz was denied entry as "he had received an assignment in Poland."
The Conference of Catholic Bishops said later that the ban on the return of Archbishop Kondrusiewicz, a citizen of Belarus, contravenes the current legislation.