Belarus (MNN) — Police in Belarus have arrested hundreds as protests continue and a nationwide strike picks up steam.
Several major industries have been affected as workers have stayed home in protest of sitting president Alexander Lukashenko. Videos out of the country show empty factories and students walking out of their schools.
Protests have engulfed Belarus since the controversial election in August. Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called for the national strike, giving Lukashenko several days of warning and asking him to step down.
Since the election, Lukashenko has been criticized internationally. Police in the country have often been accused of brutality towards the protestors.
The church in Belarus
In the middle of all this conflict, Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association says, “When I speak with youth leaders in the churches in Belarus, they will tell me the youth want political change. They are dealing with the issues. Those who are older, 60-70, remember the years of communism and the difficulties. They tend to focus less on [political] transformation and more on the reality that suffering is all around them in the midst of a call for revolution and change. Their focus is more on what God is doing in their midst.”
“But whether they’re 20 or 30-something or 70, there’s something that binds them together, and it’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
With the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians coming up on Sunday, remember to pray for the church in Belarus. Mock says, “When the government sees the unity of Christianity, the message of Christianity counter to the vision of the government to control its people, Christianity is oppressed.”
Pray the church in Belarus will continue faithfully proclaiming the risen Christ during this time of severe political instability.
And Mock encourages Christians to follow their example. “As we see the unrest overseas, we do not have to look too far to understand the unrest in our own country. [We need to] also to rally around the banner of Christ and proclaim Him crucified, resurrected, and coming again.”
The header image shows protestors in Belarus. (Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels)