Belarus (MNN) — Belarus saw the largest protest in its history as citizens congregated in Minsk over the weekend. Some have estimated as many as 200,000 people took part in the demonstrations. Most were expressing displeasure about how the recent election was handled and calling for the resignation of sitting president Alexander Lukashenko. Read more here.
Joel Griffith of Slavic Gospel Association says, “This last election that came through [and] how it was handled brought people out into the streets. Their economic challenges and the impact of the pandemic sort of had a domino effect. And that’s brought people out into the streets as has not been the case in previous situations that have arisen.”
As the political and social unrest grows, Griffith points to a shift in demographics in the country. “You have an entire younger generation that has come up within Belarus that maybe are a lot more media savvy. They have more access to the internet and the outside world. Some of them have traveled to other locations and have come back in. I think all that might be adding to some of this.”
Christians in Belarus
While all of this is going on, Griffith says, the church in Belarus continues to provide for people’s needs in the country through SGA’s Christ Over COVID program. “We’re basically helping missionary pastors and churches go out and visit needy families who are impacted by the pandemic, taking them humanitarian aid, food, groceries, hygiene items, and basically sharing the Gospel with them.”
SGA received word from Christians in Belarus, who wrote and said, “We do not participate in any political affairs, we only pray that God will save us from war and that His holy will be accomplished. Instead, we have fellowship with our brothers and continue our ministry.”
As Griffith points out, this level of national unrest isn’t just happening in Belarus. 2020 has seen mass protests in many countries around the world for a variety of reasons. Read more about protests about racial injustice and police brutality in the US here.
Christians serve a Lord that has risen from the dead, which is a radical message even in the most turbulent times. Griffith says, “As more and more people come to saving faith in Christ, that love then gets shown toward the community. As churches help meet the physical needs of others who are in great need, that love of Christ has a transformative impact on the communities and brings peace.” Pray this would be true of Belarus.
The header image shows the protests in Minsk. (Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels)