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New Life Church building
Photo: New Life Church

The eviction of the New Life Pentecostal Church from its building in the Belarusian capital Minsk (scheduled to take place the morning of December 5th) was thankfully called off at the last minute. "There will be no eviction," announced Olga Shcherbovich, the court executor who signed the eviction notice against New Life. "There was a document, there was action; the document was withdrawn, the action stopped."

New Life presently meets in a former cow barn it bought and renovated back in 2002, but the authorities had never legalized its use and have been trying to evict the Church for a decade. (To learn more about the situation, click here.) Considering that the land and building still legally belong to the authorities, New Life's administrator Vitaly Antonchikov is concerned that they may seek to evict the church sometime in the future. But for now, the congregation is overjoyed and celebrated the good news with a thanksgiving service during the evening of December 5th, instead of gathering at the appointed eviction hour scheduled earlier that same day. They also wrote a letter of thanks to the authorities for this decision.

First of all, let us rejoice with our Christian family there in Belarus – giving thanks to our wonderful Lord for intervening on behalf of their seemingly hopeless situation. May He continue to do great exploits on behalf of these faithful worshippers as they have endured several legal challenges over the years. Pray that this congregation will continue to experience God's favour with the governmental authorities and that His work will thrive in their community. May He touch the hearts of those in authority that they, too, may know the "Christ" of "Christmas."

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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