HEADS OF EVANGELICAL CHURCHES ADDRESS MINISTERS OF JUSTICE AND EDUCATION WITH COMPLAINT AGAINST ILLEGAL ACTIONS OF BELARUSIAN NATIONAL YOUTH UNION (BRSM)
The grounds for the appeal to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Education were numerous cases when high school and college students were forced to join the BRSM against their will and wishes. The letter was signed by Siarhei Khomich, bishop of the Union of Evangelical Faith Christians, M. V. Sinkavets, bishop of the Baptist Union, M. Ya. Astrowski, bishop of the Adventist Church Conference, and A. V. Sakovich of the Full Gospel Association.
Heads of the Churches point out recently they have received numerous complaints of students’ parents against BRSM activities. Their recruitment campaigns are based on a "voluntary-compulsory" principle, they also explain, BRSM members will have significant privileges in entering state universities and receiving state dwellings. The believers think, the concern of the parents is not groundless.
"In one of Minsk schools students were told only "best students" will be accepted. Such motives base membership in a public association on division into "better" and "worse" students. Such principle discriminates the rights of children , guaranteed by the legislation: The Code of the Republic of Belarus, Art. 182 "Equal Rights of Children", says "All children have equal rights, irrespective of circumstances around a child and his/her parents", -- says the appeal.
It is also pointed out, that the situation has negative effects on a child’s mental and personality development, depriving children of the right to choose opinions, beliefs, and path of life. "All activities of public associations must be based on the legislation and must not violate legal rights and interests of citizens. We would like to draw your attention to Art 4 part 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, which reads: "Ideology of political parties, religious associations and other non-governmental organizations, and social groups can not be established as an ideology, compulsory for citizens," – heads of Protestant Churches point out.
The believers ask the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Justice to take appropriate measures to prevent the illegal actions of BRSM, which violate the rights of the citizens.