Churches are under pressure from Belarusian authorties.

By April 21, 2006

Belarus (MNN)–According to sources from both Forum 18 and Voice of the Martyrs Canada, churches are reeling under new restrictions in Belarus.

The chairman of the New Generation Church council in Baranovichi, Belarus is facing a fine for organizing an in-depth Bible study group within the registered church. But, the government calls the group ‘unauthorized’ and shut it down.

The Bible study leader, Gennady Akhrimovich, argues that they registered the church as a religious community under the country’s 2002 Religion Law. That would allow him the freedom to organize private studies. However, it is yet to be seen if the argument will stand in court.

Under Belarus’ tight web of restrictions on all religious activity, the government maintains that all religious activity without official approval is illegal.

This same church is also unable to get a place to worship. The church had purchased a warehouse in 2005 that they intended to convert into a church building. However, the town authorities have refused to allow the designated purpose of the building to be changed.

The New Life Church in Minsk is facing a similar problem and has been ordered to sell their building. The administrator of the New Life Church, goes to an April 24 preliminary hearing on the forced sale of the building to the Minsk City Property Department.

Pray that the fines would be lifted, and that the Lord would open doors for these believers to be able to practice their faith.

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