Baranavichy: Court Marshals Demand 4 Million Rubles from Pentecostal Pastor

2006 2006-09-06T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to

On 2 July Baranavichy City Court fined the pastor of the Pentecostal church Redemption Siarhei Pazniakovich 4 million rubles for mass baptism which wasn’t authorized by the local administration.

The matter is that Pentecostals hold baptism in a water reservoir near Baranavichy every year. The law On Religious Freedom and Religious Organizations obliges them to get permission from the appropriate executive committee on the eve of this action, because outdoor baptism is considered by the officials as a mass action. This year the authorities didn’t permit the baptism because the water allegedly didn’t correspond to the sanitary norms. However, the baptism was held anyway.

It’s worth mentioning that last year the pastor was also fined 100 000 rubles for unauthorized liturgy. It means that the Redemption Pentecostal community already has two registered administrative violations. According to the law, one more case can lead to its liquidation. In 1999 the church underwent re-registration. At present, it has more than 1,5 thousand believers, has a temple and a Sunday school that is attended by 500 children.

The threat of liquidation also hangs over the Protestant church New Life. The court has already liquidated the religious community that was headed by the pastor Ernst Sabila, the Calvinist community of Leanid Lipen and the church Christ’s Testament with the pastor Heorhi Viazouski at the head.