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New Life Church
Authorities are becoming increasingly aggressive against churches and public religious activities in Belarus. Since 2002, the New Life Church in Minsk has faced opposition in their attempts to convert a former cow shed into a place of worship. While a recent report suggested hope for the church (click here for more details), police came to the services on June 4 and demanded to see confirmation that the church had state permission to hold worship services. A protocol has been filed against Pastor Slava Goncharenko for holding a religious service in an unapproved location without permission.
Georgi Vyazovsky
Georgi Vyazovsky


in Minsk, a court has ordered the liquidation of the property of the Covenant Reformed Baptist Church, which has been unable to re-register under the 2002 religion laws. In March, the church's pastor, Georgi Vyazovsky, served ten days in prison for leading worship in his home.

On June 1, three evangelical Christians met in the central square in Brest, Belarus for a twenty-four-hour vigil of silent Bible reading. According to a June 13 report from Forum 18, the three were joining in an act of solidarity with demonstrators who were arrested in the wake of March's presidential elections. As a result of their actions, the three received official warnings for violating a law which requires prior state permission for religious events held outside of a designated house of worship.

For more on the persecution on Christians in Belarus, visit the Belarus Country Report.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
9,477,918 (July 2020 est.)

Religion (%)
Orthodox (48.3), Catholic (7.1), Other (3.5), None (41.1)

Ethnicity (%)
Belarusian (83.7), Russian (8.3), Polish (3.1), Ukrainian (1.7), other (2.4), unspecified (0.9)

Leader
President Aleksandr Lukashenko (1994)

Government type
Presidential republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship

Legal system
Civil law system.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Belarus

Pray for increased freedom of religion – not only indicated as mere written words in the country’s constitution but also demonstrated as a living reality in the lives of the oppressed believers. May there be a lifting of restraints on evangelical groups in their efforts to spread the Gospel and plant new churches.

end

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