Worthy Christian News » NEWS ALERT: Belarus Evangelical Church Faces Imminent Eviction By Security Forces

christian news

Worthy Christian News » NEWS ALERT: Belarus Evangelical Church Faces Imminent Eviction By Security Forces

newlife2

Authorities have ordered New Life to leave its building.

Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Europe Bureau Chief

MINSK/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) — There was uncertainty about the future of one of the largest evangelical churches in Belarus Tuesday, June 2, after authorities ordered it to abandon its building in the capital Minsk.

New Life Church confirmed that it received a letter from the Property Maintenance and Repair Department (PMRD) of the Moscow District of Minsk demanding that the church leaves its current complex not later than Monday, June ,1 or face forcible eviction.

“The church needs to undertake necessary measures not later than June 1, 2009 to transfer the legal documents for its building and sign the deal of the building’s transfer and also vacate it,” the letter said. “In case the church does not, the Department will have to undertake necessary measures to settle the case in accordance to the current legislation.”

In an interview, the head of PMRD’s legal department, Ludmila Bulyga, suggested that the eviction could be carried out by security forces. “They (the church) need to vacate the building and the land since it was never zoned for religious usage. The court’s ruling will be carried out by the court’s officers, who have the full right to use law-enforcing agencies,” she said.

MOUNTING CONCERN

Human rights groups have expressed concerns about the situation, saying it could mark another stage in alleged wide spread persecution of devoted Christians in the former Soviet republic.

“The events… are likely to have a major impact on religious freedom throughout Belarus,” said Stuart Windsor , National Director of Britain-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide. “If New Life Church is forced to shut its doors, the hundreds of other churches across the country who have been denied the right to register will have real reason to fear the same fate,” Windsor warned.

The CSW official urged the European Union to intervene at a time when it “just launched its Eastern Partnership initiative which is meant to promote respect for human rights in countries including Belarus.” The EU, he said, should make it “absolutely clear that the religious liberty of the members of New Life Church must be defended and upheld.”

New Life Church, which comprises over a thousand active members, has been the target of repeated government fines and attempts to shut it down since it was established in the early 1990s, according to local Christians.

LEGAL BATTLE

The latest ruling comes as part of a legal battle with the Minsk City Executive Committee which has been ongoing since 2005 after the church purchases a former cowshed to accommodate its growing congregation.

In addition, recent aid from the Netherlands was halted by authorities, the church said. In 2006, thousands of Belarusian Christians of different denominations across the country joined members of New Life Church in a hunger strike which lasted 23 days and resulted in hospitalization of several people involved in the hunger strike.

It comes amid international concerns over the policies of President Aleksandr Lukashenko who critics say has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means.

Critics link the reported crackdown on New Life and other evangelical groups to government restrictions on freedom of religion as well as limitations on freedom of speech and the press and demonstrations.  Lukashenko has denied wrongdoing.

Copyright 1999-2014 Worthy News. All rights reserved.

Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

3 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

  • FresnoJoe
    2 June 2009 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Praying!

    "In the LORD put I my trust: How say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?"
    "For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart."
    "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
    "The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men."
    "The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth."
    "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."
    "For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright."
    Psalms 11

  • HYHY HYH HY Y
    3 June 2009 at 7:36 am - Reply

    NWO No Way Out is not Friendly to Christians, just one of the many failed plans of mankind and the devil, don't forget who is the god of this world.

    Bottom Line World View The Plan Eternal
    http://truth-revealed.name
    Counterfeit Proof

  • Anna
    3 June 2009 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    The signs of the times continue to manifest themselves throughout the world and serve as a warning to us in America. Do we see the handwriting on the wall or are we still in party mode? This very issue is even now being reviewed in our government under the guise of the formerly known "fairness act" which is fair to all except the Christians. Already in CA we have seen a home Bible Study targeted. What kind of excuses will be used here to shut down the homes and church buildings that provide people a place to gather together in the name of the LORD Jesus? We must begin to think outside the box before this wave of politically correct climate hits full force. It's already forming just off our homeland security coastlines where protection if supposed to be inforced but the question is protection for who? Perhaps those being released from Gitmo? Hmmm, could be???

    God, in His goodness, continues to send out warnings to His body so they are not in darkness but are in the light and will not be caught unaware. This train is rolling and with our President off on his 2nd apology tour to appease the Muslims, after giving no protection to the Jewish state of Israel, I dare say that it won't be long before we will be seeing the harvest of what we are sowing in the name of world peace and harmony.

    Is there any nation, other than Israel (and only some there) who is actually trying to make peace with God and what He has said? He will initially provide the means of peace despite the world's opposition to Him and since only His people seem to know this, it is time to get busy for the LORD.

    Do you see homeless people where you drive. You know when the folks we encounter every day don't want to hear what you have to say, it might be time to go out into the highways and the byways and speak to whomsoever. Remember the parable of the guests invited to the wedding feast who were too busy and those outside the elite were then invited and received. Of course, that referred to the Gentiles and the Church but there are other applications as well. They are also the ones who have been ignored and rejected by society in today's modern world of knowledge and wealth. It's time to go to anyone who will receive the love and invitation of the LORD; food for both body and soul to him who will receive. If you are not too good or too embarassed to do this, you might be amazed how receptive these people can be and what you do for them will be passed along to others through them. I know, I have done this and never been more blessed.

    Let us work while there is still light for the night is coming.
    1 Thes. 5:1-11

    nanazona@juno.com

  • Make us your homepage

    What is Worthy News?

    Worthy News is an independent Christian news agency which reports news not covered by other outlets, on key developments in a rapidly changing world. Worthy News reaches both Christians and non-Christians around the globe and strives to be balanced and make a difference in these strategic times.

    Worthy News. Reliable-Trustworthy-Cutting Edge

    Recommended Links

  • Editor’s Picks

  • Latest News

  • Most Read This Month

  • Most Read Today


  • 1999-2014 Worthy Christian News » NEWS ALERT: Belarus Evangelical Church Faces Imminent Eviction By Security Forces