Paval Sevyarynets uses leave of absence from correctional facility to take part in Bible copying campaign


Paval Sevyarynets, a co-chairman of Belarusian Christian Democracy who is serving a three-year "restricted freedom" and corrective labor sentence, used his three-day Easter leave of absence from the correctional facility to take part in a nationwide campaign of copying excerpts from a Belarusian translation of the Bible by hand.

The opposition politician spoke about the importance of the Bible in front of a rebuilt church in his home city of Vitsyebsk.

"The Bible is a key to the Belarusian national idea. For a thousand years Belarus was shaped as a Christian state and our main heroes are those who believe in Jesus Christ. Where else should one look for answers to all questions if not in the Bible? That's why one needs to copy excerpts from the Bible by hand, read it daily, something that I call on every Belarusian to do. Being a Belarusian means being a Christian," Mr. Sevyarynets said.

The 36-year-old man, who is widely regarded as a political prisoner, appeared to be philosophical about his "restricted freedom" sentence.

"If I had not stuck to the Christian ideology, I would have probably tried to abscond or fight. But since I am a Christian I am ready to be held in prison, endure hardships. I think finally we will prevail in a Christian way, through the cross, through patience," he said.

Mr. Sevyarynets copied Psalm Four from the Bible's Book of Psalms.

"The Book of Psalms is one of my favorite parts [of the Bible]. It was one of the first to be translated for Belarusians," he said. //BelaPAN