Supreme Economic Court Reverses All Court Rulings Related to New Life Church
According to RFE/RL
The Supreme Economic Court has reversed the verdicts of Minsk Economic Court by which the religious community New Life was deprived of their piece of land and building. During this year 11 such verdicts were passed. Sometimes the believers had even to simultaneously participate in three different trials at Minsk Economic Court. All the verdicts were in favour of Minsk authorities. At first the believers were deprived of the piece of land. Then the struggle for their building (former cowshed at the outskirts of Minsk, which the believers bought in 2002) started. After the believers reconstructed the building at their own expense the officials of Minsk City Executive Committee decided that the religious community used it in a wrong way. According to the court verdict, 35 million rubles (about 14 000 of US dollars) were transferred to the church account as compensation for the building, which was transferred to the state property. All supreme instances left the verdicts in force and in the beginning of autumn they came into legal force.
The believers started a hunger-strike of protest in the building, which they used as a church. Pastors and believers from other communities joined them. More than a hundred believers kept a fast of solidarity. On the 23rd day the Supreme Court issued a protest against the verdicts and the action was stopped.
On 6 November the court reversed the verdicts. Now the Presidium of the Supreme Economic Court will reconsider the whole case.