Aleteia

Pope prays for Belarus in conflict over disputed election

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Francis calls for “dialogue, the rejection of violence, respect for justice and rights.”

Amid continuing protests against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Pope Francis on Sunday mentioned the situation in the country.

After praying the midday Angelus, the pope said his “thoughts also go to the dear [country of] Belarus.”

“I am following attentively the post-electoral situation in that country,” he said, calling for “dialogue, the rejection of violence, respect for justice and rights.”

“I entrust all of Belarus to the Our Lady, Queen of Peace.”

Lukashenko is said to have emerged as the clear victor of the August 9 election, with the election commission reporting he won more than 80% of the vote.

However, a big protest in Minsk on Sunday was in response to alleged poll rigging, as well as police violence against supporters of the opposition candidate.

Lukashenko has led Belarus since 1994, and has kept the country close to neighboring Russia.

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