Belarusian Evangelical Church faces liquidation
According to Radio Liberty, on 18 July Minsk City Court will consider the case of deregistration of the Belarusian Evangelical Church.
The Church pastor Ernest Sabila demands that the regulation adopted by Minsk City Executive Committee be reviewed for its legality. The regulation was adopted because the church is registered on residential premises, which is not allowed by the new law on public associations.
The representatives of the committee for religions of Minsk City Executive Committee repeatedly took part in similar trials, as a result of which many religious denominations were denied registration and the right to assemble for worship.
In 1951 the Soviet authorities sentenced Ernest Sabila, then a medical student, to death on charges of anti-Soviet propaganda. Because he was a guerilla during World War II, the court replaced the death penalty with 25 years in prison.
Ernest Sabila believes that the current reprisals launched by the authorities against the believers of various non-Orthodox denominations are in the spirit of NKVD of the Stalin times.