Presentation of White Book: Monitoring of Religious Situation in Belarus for August 2002 – January 2003
The PA “For Liberty of Confession” presented the results of the monitoring of the religious situation in Belarus for August 2002 – January 2003. The book consists of ten chapters: the correspondence of religious organizations with the state bodies, articles and interviews in press, reaction to the signing of the agreement between the state and the Russian Orthodox Church, international documents and statements about the religious situation in Belarus. TO the mind of the presentation participants, the 370 pages of the second part of the “White Book” (the first one was issued in August 2002) are the only fundamental documents to show different dimensions of the contemporary religious life in Belarus.
The presentation speeches were read by the third secretary of the US Embassy in Belarus Ian Turner, the deputy of the Chamber of Representatives of Belarus Sviryd, the public activist Ivan Saverchanka and the lawyer Siarhey Shawtsow. Ivan Saverchanka proposed to establish the public commission at the State Committee on Religious and National Affairs to deal with the relations between the religious organizations and the state.
In his speech the book composer Yakaw Basin pointed out:
-- Pitifully enough, today we face with the situation when the state tries to forcibly decide the issue of religious harmony in the country. We witness the state interests exceed the limits of common sense at the expense of personal rights.
The deputy Sviryd didn’t agree that the situation in the country became worse and tenser. To his mind, the conclusion of the book composers and the lawyers about the tenseness in the relations between the state and religious societies is exaggerated.
Information Department of HRC “Viasna”