Another example of intolerance of the authorities: Belarusian Evangelical Church Liquidated

2005 2005-09-23T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 20 September Minsk City Court liquidated the Belarusian Evangelical Church. Earlier the court had already liquidated a Calvinist Protestant Church with Leanid Lipen being the pastor. The Protestant Church "New Life" with Viachaslau Hancharenka serving as the pastor also faces liquidation. Minsk City Executive Committee initiated the proceedings.
The religious community of the Evangelists was registered in 1994. They started to have problems after 2002. Because the church was registered at the apartment owned by Pastor Sabila, Minsk City Executive Committee demanded that the believers find a new legal address. But the Church has fewer than twenty people. They do not have enough money to rent an office. Judge Ala Krapiuka held the first sitting in July and gave the pastor time to find a compromise with the officials. However, the officials refused to help with a new legal address. As a result, the court liquidated the church.
Judge of Minsk City Court Ala Krapiuka dotted the i's in the case of liquidation of the Belarusian Evangelical Church despite the fact that Pastor Ernest Sabila was taken ill and could not attend the court session.
The believers informed that despite the court decision, they will continue to gather for their prayers. According to the new Administrative Code, this involves punishment ranging from twenty days of arrest to large fines. The believers informed Radio Liberty that they count on the resolution of the UN Human Rights Committee with respect to a complaint filed by Krishna followers who are in a similar position. We would like to remind you that at the end of August the UN Committee sent a resolution to the Belarusian government, where it accused the authorities of violating the believers' rights. The Committee called the new version of the law an artificial barrier to religious communities.