At the beginning of May 1980 Father Josif Ivanovich Zenevskij, pastor of the Gervėčiai church, was fined 50 rubles by local township officials because he greeted children when he met them in the town, inquired how their studies were progressing, and sometimes invited some of them to come to church services. By doing so, the priest was alleged to have violated Soviet laws: he engaged in religious propaganda outside the confines of the church.

    The complaint to the Gervėčiai Township Executive Committee was written by Taisa Nikoloyevna Murina, who is in charge of the after-school activities at the Gervėčiai Secondary School, and was signed by the school's entire administration.

    It would seem that in Byelorussia a Catholic priest is equivalent to a leper who is forbidden by law to meet and associate with people.