Religious freedom is threatened in Belarus

By April 4, 2005

Belarus (MNN) — Christians are asking believers around the world to unite in prayer for Belarus. According to news reports Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated there will be no revolutions in his country, but according to many, the climate is ripe for that to happen.

Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says they work there training young Christian leaders to be evangelists, pastors and church planters. Rukhuba says many aren’t happy about the country’s situation. “There is a very strong opposition in Belarus. A lot stronger than it was in Georgia or Kyrgyzstan. And, this opposition is very much prepared for the next step.” But, that could mean bloodshed, says Rakhuba.

Lukashenko is ruling Belarus with an iron fist. Rakhuba says people are suffering. “Especially churches are under serious threat because local enforcement agencies, like police and former KGB, they threaten local churches not to go into (ministry) actively and they force them to support the current regime.”

While Christians can meet in the buildings they rent from the government, they are restricted. “They’re not allowed to do any evangelism, any open air activities. They’re not allowed to go outside their walls. And, interestingly this is the same way it was in the Soviet Union.”

Funding is important right now because churches must rent facilities from the government, many times, at inflated rates. Rakhuba says your support will be an encouragement. “They’re not going to give up. They will continue their ministry despite the political situation. There is still a tremendous openness to the Gospel and we would like to continue supporting the national church.”

Click on the highlighted link above to contact Russian Ministries.

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