"To: The Procurator of the LSSR
"From: Citizen Balys Babrauskas, the son of Anupras, 
residing in Smilgiai Village, Biržai Rayon
A Petition

    "On November 20, 1973, security officials of Biržai Rayon under the command of Capt. Jasinskis, searched the church, the sacristy, the outlying buildings, and my living quarters in the sacristy. I have been forced to live there because both the old and the new rectories built by the parishioners for their ministers have been confiscated by the BirzaiRayon Executive Committee.

    "Much of my religious literature, hymnals, and writing paper was confiscated during the search, together with my typewriter and all of my magnetic tapes, both blank and those containing mainly recordings of hymns. Also taken were all the copies of the hymns used by the religious community of Smilgiai.

    "I consider the search to have been completely illegal for the following reasons:

    1. The search was conducted without any witnesses, because those listed as such themselves took part in the search, and I was not permitted to ask anyone to serve as a witness.

    2. My confiscated property—the religious literature, etc.—was taken unlawfully because both the Natural Law and the constitution permit the profession of any religion whatsoever and the free use of religious literature, no matter how it was produced, whether by pencil, ink, or on my typewriter.

    3. The warrant that was displayed did not authorize the confiscation of these items, but the officials conducting the search claimed them under the cover of that warrant.

    "Two months have passed since the search, and during this time none of the confiscated materials have been returned. For this reason, I am turning to you with the request that you remind them of the elementary principles of law, and that they should return my property, since as far as the law is concerned, I cannot understand their actions.

    "Just how blameworthy are the most ordinary religious literature and hymns whose posession and use are guaranteed by both the constitution and Natural Law? On this basis, I consider the confiscation of my religious literature and hymns to have been plain robbery.

    "What is the legal basis for the confiscation of my magnetic tape, which can be purchased in stores? I do not understand. The confiscation of my late mother's recorded words (the container carried the notation 'Mother's Words'), which was one of our family's most cherished treasures—the only recording in the posession of the five children she raised—was an action I consider an unprecedented act of barbarism by the officials involved, an act for whose condemnation I cannot find the words.

    "What blame can be laid on the plain white writing paper or the carbon paper, both of which were purchased in stores? Unless perhaps we can quote the words of the officials conducting the search: 'It's hard to get (carbon paper). This will be enough for a number of offices.' It is easier for officials to steal from a citizen than to look for paper in the stores.

    "I was surprised at the rumors started by the perpetrators of the search regarding what they saw and found. I consider all that to be due to the immaturity and lack of culture—hooliganism—on the part of some of the officials conducting the search.

    "On January 22, 1974, I was summoned by A. Tumėnas, chairman of the Biržai RayonExecutive Committee, who threatened that my income taxes would have to be increased because I was capable of paying a larger sum. He then began to enumerate what the searchers had noticed and turned over to him, starting with my bankbook and ending with the several pairs of gym shorts found in my room. This only proved the prevalent unwritten rule that anything goes as far as believers—and especially priests—are concerned: the most barbaric assailment, discrimination, and as on this occasion, even robbery. Such actions force even me to believe that in the case of a priest everything is permissible.

    "The confiscation of the copies of hymns belonging to the religious community of Smilgiai is an example of extreme arbitrariness because the hymns are the property of the church in Smilgiai. The search of the church was carried out in the absence of a representative of the religious community of Smilgiai, who could have been found, not several kilometers, but only a few steps away, in the selfsame Smilgiai Village.

    "On the Sunday after the search, failing to find their copies of the hymns, the representatives of the religious community came to me and demanded an explanation of their disappearance. They were very surprised and scandalized by these arbitrary actions of the government officials and they began to collect signatures on a petition concerning this robbery that had occurred at their church. I asked them to wait in the expectation of your support, Procurator, which would demonstrate that the country is being run on the basis of law and not the arbitrariness of its representatives.

    "On this same basis and, in addition, with the belief that the state is governed according to the laws, I have written this petition, appealing to you to correct the injustice done me, and to order the persons involved to return all the confiscated religious literature, hymns, magnetic tapes, paper, and typewriters.

    "At the same time, in order to alleviate the people's anxiety and to relieve them of the strain of collecting signatures and of sending delegations to officials, I request that you return the copies of their hymns.

Smilgiai, January 24, 1974 
The Rev. B. Babrauskas"

    To this petition, LSSR Deputy Procurator J. Bakučionis replied in his usual manner: "In reply to your petition of January 24, 1974, I must report that the search of your premises on November 30, 1973, was sanctioned by the Procurator of the Republic in connection with a case that is under investigation."

    Since the petition sent by Father Babrauskas already mentions the sanction of the LSSR Procurator, Bakučionis' reply can be considered nothing more than the mockery of a citizen, proving the assertion stated in the petition: that in the case of a priest, anything is permissible.


    The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, no. 8 reported the persecution of the Rev. P. Nykštus, pastor of the parish in Salos, for preparing children for their First Communion. Although the Rokiškis Rayon Executive Committee had decided to penalize Father Nykštus with a fine of fifty rubles in an effort to avoid further vexation of the believers, on the eve of the meeting of the administrative commission the meeting was called off. Thus, the pastor remained unpunished.