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New Life ChurchNew hope has been given to the New Life Church in Minsk, Belarus after a judge halted the forcible sale of the church's building, according to a May 24 report from Forum 18. On May 16, Judge Aleksandr Karamyshev promised to investigate the situation surrounding the case against the New Life Church after discovering inconsistencies in the arguments from the city officials. The court learned, for example, that Aleksei Vaga from Minsk's Architecture Committee had sworn under oath that religious affairs officials had no influence in their decision to deny the church permission to use the building. A December 22, 2003 letter from the Architecture Committee to the church, however, specifically states that their decision took into account a written conclusion from the Religious Affairs Department.

The New Life Church has been worshipping in a former cow shed since September 2004. Minsk officials refused to change the land use designation on the building and initiated action to confiscate the building.

Praise God for this positive development. Thank God that these believers have been able to maintain ownership of the building thus far. Pray that they will be able to continue to worship at this facility without any further charges or fines.

For more information on the persecution of Christians in Belarus, click here.

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.

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