Archpriest PETR PRAKAPTSOU (agro-town Prybytki, Homiel region)

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Very Rev. Petr Prakaptsou

The priest of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in the agro-town of Prybytka (Homiel district, Homiel region) located 5 km from the airfield in Ziabraŭka used by Russian troops for air strikes on Ukraine.

Rev. Piotr Prakaptsou was repeatedly approached by the Russian military stationed near ​​the airfield in Ziabraŭka with a request to consecrate military equipment. He categorically refused and, to avoid pressure, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Spirit Monastery in Vilnius, Lithuania. Archbishop Stefan (Neshcharet) of Homiel threatened Rev. Prakaptsou to defrock him; the priest was forced to return. Rev. Prakaptsou was immediately summoned to the bishop and, straight after this conversation with the bishop, he received a call from the Homieĺ KGB department. The priest was questioned by a KGB operative about the reasons for the trip to Lithuania, how he arranged a visa, and whether he collaborated with Christian Vision. Rev. Prakaptsou was forced to sign a statement warning against illegal actions, sponsoring terrorist activities, disseminating information discrediting the political regime and the president of the Republic of Belarus to foreign media, and calling for strikes. Fearing further pressure, the priest was forced to leave the country. He was banned from practising his priesthood by Archbishop Stefan (Nieshcharet) of Homiel. Rev. Prakaptsou shared his experience in more detail and explained his position in an interview with Christian Vision.