Religious Organizations Under Growing Control
Forum 18 agency published a document which recommends local authorities to strengthen control over activities of religious organizations. The document was signed by deputy chair of Committee for Religious and Ethnic Affairs of the Council of Ministers Uladzimir Lameka.
Presently, activities of religious organizations in every district of Belarus are supervised not only by individual experts, but also by a number of commissions whose only function is to control the observance of legislation on religious organizations. Uladzimir Lameka stressed, these commissions are to become more active in their work on regulation of the religious activities in the country. Commissions have to be more attentive in control of activities of communities of different faiths, especially Protestant and Catholic congregations. These duties assume regular visits of religious services and meetings with the leadership of religious organizations. Responsibilities of local administration also include control of activities of non-registered religious organizations: in such cases commissions have the right to forbid the services, their educational work, etc. According to the Committee for Religious and Ethnic Affairs, commissions are obliged to pay special attention to usage of foreign languages during services: the priority should be given to Belarusian and Russian languages, www.religare.ru cites the Russian Catholic weekly Svet Evangeliya.