On May 29, 1979, Liudas Simutis was informed at the militia department of the Rayonof Panemunė of the City of Kaunas that he must leave Lithuania within 24 hours.
After serving 22 years in the Gulag for participating in the opposition movement against the occupant, Liudas Simutis returned to Lithuania and formed a family. Unfortunately, a Lithuanian does not have the right to live in his homeland. He must be replaced by a foreign occupant.
Simutis refused to leave. Lithuania. The militia has thus far remained silent.
While making a speech at the Vilkaviškis Sewing Factory on July 12, 1979, Secretary Tėvelis of the rayon party committee stated that crosses are being erected here and there in the rayon of Vilkaviškis. Although the laws do not forbid the erection of crosses, they must be removed when they are erected in "prohibited" places. This has happened in ourrayon: A cross was erected on the grave of a "bandit" (pure fabrication — Ed. note); it therefore had to be removed as a monument to the enemy. A second cross was erected on an ancient mound located halfway between Vilkaviškis and Kapsukas. Secretary Tėvelis called this mound a "historical landmark" where all excavation is forbidden, this cross therefore also had to be removed.
Both of these crosses were removed at the order of Vice Chairman Urbonas of the Vilkaviškis Rayon Executive Committee, implementing a long-standing program of the Communist Party: to destroy the nation's Christian face.
On June 7, 1979, the faithful erected a 5-meter (15-foot) white cross on the Hill of Brides with the inscription: "Lord, protect our nation's youth against godlessness!"
The following day, Secretary Šlepetys of the Janonis state farm party organization, together with worker Šyvokas tore down the cross, cut it into pieces and carted it off to the state farm lumber yard where they dumped it. This is the second cross to date desecrated on the Hill of Brides.
Father Antanas Balaišis, pastor of the Saločiai parish, wrote the Prosecutor of the Lithuanian SSR on December 8, 1978. We reprint below an abbreviated text of his statement:
"On July 13, 1978 I was summoned to the Executive Committee of the Rayon to see Vice Chairman Dėmenis. There, I was ordered to sign a tendentious transcript and was charged, without any foundation, with organizing, and I quote, "a special meeting of children for the purpose of teaching religion" on July 12, 1978 at the church of Saločiai.
I was lectured that people can only listen and not reply during sermons, that sermons can be preached only during Mass and that candles must be lit during sermons.
The Vice Chairman declared that children under eighteen years of age cannot attend church.
The Administrative Fine Commission of the rayon of Pasvalys fined me fifty rubles on July 20, 1978.
I would like to direct your attention, Mr. Prosecutor, to the conduct of the individuals who have accused me unjustly and who truly violate Soviet laws.
They burst into the church during services and interrupted the services. The individuals were Pasvalys militiaman V. Norkus, Executive Committee Vice Chairman V. Dėmenis, Chairwoman D. Poškevičienė of the Saločiai District and V. Moteikienė of the Religious Cult Administration of the Rayon of Pasvalys. They strolled through the church during services, photographed the priests, the children, thereby disturbing the faithful. They left the church only when a commotion arose. Their conduct was very reminiscent of Nazi behavior in churches.
Mr. Prosecutor, I ask you to overrule the July 20, 1978 decision of the Administrative Fine Commission of the Rayon of Pasvalys, to reprimand the individuals who abused their authority on July 12, 1978 and discriminated agains the faithful and to protect the constitutional rights of the faithful.
Father Antanas Balaišis."
An old wayside shrine with statues carved by folk artisans stands in the woods near Višakio Rūda. A spring flows at the foot of the shrine. Beneath the shrine, a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus used to stand under an artistic dome. People from a wide surrounding area paid hommage to and visited this spot; at times they even came from far away to entreat Mary for certain favors.
On May 5, 1979 the shrine was desecrated: The statue of Mary was broken, the benches turned over and the flowers trampled.
Religious Affairs Commissioner Anilionis has demanded that the pastor of Višakio Rūda, Father Gvidonas Dovydaitis, not serve the parish of Nemirai because he fears the energetic priest might revive this spiritually stagnating corner of Suvalkija.
On June 3, 1979, Father Jonas Kauneckas, Assistant Pastor of the Telšiai Cathedral, announced from the pulpit that Religious Affairs Commissioner Anilionis is demanding his transfer from the Cathedral. This proves how the Soviet government 'does not interfere' in internal Church affairs. On June 12th the faithful of Telšiai took a statement bearing 1,580 signatures to Religious Affairs Commissioner Anilionis. The statement demands that Father Kauneckas not be ordered to transfer from Telšiai. The Religious Affairs Commissioner replied in writing that he had made inquiries at the Telšiai Chancery and learned that it was decided to elevate Father Kauneckas by appointing him pastor of some parish. On June 26th, a large group of faithful appealed to the administrator of the Diocese of Telšiai regarding this matter and learned that no inquiry had been made by the Commissioner's office and that, at present, there are no plans to name Father Kauneckas pastor. In other words, the priest's "elevation" is merely the Commissioner's fantasy and goal. The faithful of Telšiai sent Anilionis the following statement:
"We attentively read your reply and would like to state the following.
Your reply is insincere and untrue. You only ridiculed the faithful of the parish of Telšiai. And the reason is that you are attempting to compel the Diocesan Administrator to transfer our assistant pastor Father Jonas Kauneckas while you write about his elevation. There is currently a great shortage of assistant pastors in Lithuania and it is unprecedented to appoint a young priest pastor after only a few years.
We therefore return to our original demand: Stop interfering in the appointment of priests and stop harassing our assistant pastor Father Jonas Kauneckas.
Telšiai, July 7, 1979
The Faithful of Telšiai (37 signatures)
On June 5, 1979, two security agents came to see (Miss) Teresė Sudaviciutė who works at the Telšiai infectious disease center and bemoaned the fact that Teresė has a poor apartment: She could get a better one. And then they began to interrogate her about whether she listens to Vatican Radio, whether she knows who publishes the Chronicle,etc. The interrogation lasted two hours.
On March 11, 1979, Arčulis, Head of the Patent Department of the Kaunas Radio Surveying Technical Research Institute, came to the department's document copying office (Era machines are used to make copies) and began to examine the books brought to be copied. After picking up one book, he began to shout: "Who is planning to copy this? This is an anti-Soviet book, a prayerbook!" He immediately summoned the head of the first (security — Trans note) department, Pronichev, and informed him that the prayerbook in question was published abroad and is an anti-Soviet publication. Pronichev began an investigation into who had brought this book to be duplicated, but no one betrayed anything.
Salos (Rayon of Rokiškis)
The faithful of the Salos parish wanted to elect as chairman of the parish committee an individual suitable for the office, but the Religious Affairs Commissioner and the Salos District Committee are preventing this. (Government officials demand that the worst Catholics work on Church committees: it is important that they carry out all the demands of the Soviet government — Ed. note).
On March 14, 1979, representatives of the Kybartai parish appealed to Religious Affairs Commissioner Anilionis with the request that Bishop Povilonis be permitted to come to Kybartai on July 22nd during recollections and administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to the youth of Kybartai. The Commissioner denied permission.
July 22nd marked the 50th anniversary of the church of Kybartai. The exiled Bishop Julijonas Steponavičius came to the celebration without permission from the government. The people of Kybartai greeted the persecuted bishop with great enthusiasm. In his sermon, Bishop Steponavičius urged the faithful to remain faithful to God and courageously defend their faith.
On April 5, 1979, the pastor of Sasnava, Father Albinas Deltuva, was warned because he had invited priests to devotions without permission and thereby violated article 19 of the Regulations for Religious Associations.
In his statement to the rayon government, Father* Deltuva points out that article 19 contradicts the USSR Constitution and international USSR commitments and therefore has no legal force.
Varputėnai (Rayon of Šiauliai)
During the night of June 18, 1979, culprits broke into the church of Varputėnai and ravaged it: They smashed the altars, crosses and candlesticks.
In 1978, Vaišutis, JHead of the Finance Department of the Rayon of Radviliškis, carried out his pledge to "take care of the pastor and tripled the taxes Father Antanas Jokubauskas has to pay. While complying with the unjust demand, the priest paid 400 rubles too much. The Radviliškis Rayon People's Court upheld the Finance
Department and rejected the priest's demand that the overpayment be refunded.
At the beginning of 1979, Father Jokubauskas' taxes were again doubled. With the help of the Finance Department, the rayon government is blackmailing the zealous priest.
Vilnius has a beautiful funeral home. People can purchase wreaths, artisans write inscriptions on the ribbons right there on the spot. However, the artists are forbidden to write "A.A." (rest in peace) on the ribbons. How all-encompassing is the party's concern not only for the living but also for the dead!