Protestant Pastor Accused of Holding Unauthorized Mass Actions
Christian Human Rights House learned that Homel authorities pressurized the community of the religious association of Full Evangel Christians Living Word and its pastor Zmitser Padlobka in particular.
Before the beginning of the 30 September Sunday service the police, a representative of Homel oblast executive committee and a representative of the ideology department of the executive committee came to the house that was rented by the church and demanded to cancel the service. They said that the ‘gathering’ was illegal and church music could disturb the neighbors.
Pastor Zmitser Padlobka refused to do so. As a result the policemen drew on him a report for violation of article 23.34 of the Administrative Code (violation of the order of organization or holding mass action), for which the pastor will be tried at Savetski district court of Homel.
‘Believers have the right to pray and profess their belief where and how they want. This right is guaranteed to us by the Constitution,’ says Padlobka. ‘According to the rent documents we have the right to hold divine services here’.
On Tuesday the chair of the religious and national cases department of Homel oblast executive committee Mikhail Zhukevich phoned to Zmitser Padlobka and said that a summons to prosecutor’s office had been sent to him.