Evangelical Church of Kobryn is under pressure of local authorities
Representatives of Kobryn District, Fire Inspectorate and the Sanitation Office visited an unregistered branch of the Churches of Evangelical Christians and of Evangelical Baptists. They revealed various violations in the churches, including breaches of the fire safety rules, and drew up reports registering the above violations.
The pastor of the Kobryn Church of Evangelical Christians Mikalai Radkovich was fined 25 thousand rubles for fire safety violations. This is what he said in an interview with the Belarusian Liberty: "In my opinion, the main reason why they came is the church is not registered. We believe that such a law and such registration do not suit us. I think that this all comes from above – Brest or Moscow. That's how they marked their work: been there, done that, marked everything".
The report compiled by the state commission also mentions the pastor of the unregistered Kobryn Church of Evangelical Christians Stsiapan Kanavalchuk.
Stanislau Akinchyts, of the Information Center "Freedom of Conscience", commented on the actions of the Kobryn officials: "The authorities acted in the old Soviet way in this case. They pick on the believers. What's more, they do not violate their rights – they cause different state-controlled agencies find fault with the believers. These are Ministry of Emergency Situations, Sanitation Office, and whoever else. They do so to demonstrate that this has nothing to do with religion, this is something related to the work of these services. They act in a selective manner: Protestant churches are the first to get the blow".
The unregistered community of Evangelical Christians in Brest also had some problems. The other day they even wanted to seal their churches, saying it was too close to the residential buildings and industrial premises. So far the believers have been able to defend their sacred place.