Kobryn Dwellers Fined For Holding Church Services
On May 18 a Protestant pastor Illya Radkevich was found guilty of violation of the Article 193 of the Administrative Code and fined 150,000 BYR. Article 193 of the Administrative Code envisages accountability for infringement of “Law on Religious Freedom and Religious Organizations”. The verdict was passed by an administrative commission of the executive committee of Kobryn, Brest region, human rights center Viasna informs.
As said by Iryna Kuksiuk, a secretary of the administrative commission of Kobryn executive committee, the fact that a religious community which regularly gathers for worship, has not registered its statute is a violation. In considering this case the administrative commission based itself on the report by a district policeman. Pastor Radkevich refused to sign that report and said that the case should be heard in a judicial proceeding.
“In fact, that decision had been passed in our absence,” Georgi Dmitruk, a chairman of the public association Christian Business Initiative said. “The fine shows that pressure on Protestant churches in growing. We are alarmed by that,” G. Dmitruk said.
Illya Radkevich is a pastor of the United Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith of the settlement of Povits, Kobryn district, Brest region. The community consists of about 50 community members.