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Fabijan Abrantovich

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Fabijan (Fabian) Abrantovich (Abrantovič, Abrantowicz) (Belarusian Фабіян Абрантовіч) (14 September 1884 – 1946) — a prominent religious and civic leader from Belarus. Abrantovich was significant in the struggle for the recognition of the Belarusian language in the Roman Catholic Church, the indoctrination of Belarusians of the Roman Catholic faith in their national character, and to the revival of concepts dealing with Belarusian statehood.

Abrantovich was born in Navahradak. He first studied there and then in Saint-Petersburg at the Roman Catholic seminary and the Theological academy. He graduated with the degree of Master of Theology and was ordained to the priesthood on November 9, 1908. As one of the best students at the academy, Abrantovich received scholarship for study at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, where he received Ph.D. in 1912.

Before World War I, Abrantovich was a faculty member at the Catholic Seminary in St.Petersburg. There he became very active in the Belarusian movement. He organized several groups of students and initiated numerous Belarusian publications. Abrantovich was the founder of the Belarusian Christian Movement and was the head of the first Belarusian Christian Union (Chryścijanskaja Demakratyčnaja Złučnaść) which was established in St. Petersburg in May 1917. He was one of the Belarusian Roman Catholic priests who initiated the organization of the Belarusian political conference in Minsk in March 1917 and the conference of the Belarusian Roman Catholic Clergy, May 24-25, 1917. When the Roman Catholic Seminary opened in Minsk during the fall of 1918, Abrantovich was appointed rector of this institution. His time was divided between pastoral obligations, teaching, and Belarusian activities in Minsk. Abrantovich was convinced that Roman Catholicism in Belarus should have its own Belarusian character rather than serve as a cultural tool of the Poles to promote polonization.

After the partition of Belarus (1921), Abrantovich moved first to the city of Pinsk and then to the town of Druja (1926) where the majority of Belarusian Roman Catholic priests settled following the war. However, his political activities did not stop there: he vigorously protested the Concordat between the Holy See and the Polish government and supported numerous Belarusian political programs. At the request of the Polish church authorities, Abrantovich was removed from Druja and sent away to Harbin (China) in the Far East.

In 1939, while visiting Belarus, Abrantovich was arrested by the Soviet Army, imprisoned, and tortured in Lvov prison. Later on he was exiled to Russia. The place and the date of his death are not established with 100% certainty, although it is thought that he died from tortures in the Butyrka prison on January 2, 1946.

See also

be-x-old:Фабіян Абрантовіч ru:Абрантович, Фабиан

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