Protestants refuse to let court marshals in New Life Church
On 13 August, at 9:30 a.m., three officers of court tried to get on the territory of New Life, Minsk-based church of the Union of Full Gospel Churches in Belarus, and hand over a paper. ‘The church members said any officials can’t enter the territory of the church, and they can send the paper by mail. The court officers went away,’ BelaPAN learnt from Siarhei Lukanin, a church lawyer.Mr. Lukanin does not rule out that actions of the church members can result in criminal punishment of the church pastor Viachaslau Hancharenka. ‘For example, Article 423 of the Criminal Code (failure to fulfill a judgment, a decision, and other judicial acts),’ the lawyer added. He noted that ‘the court marshals knew that officials are not allowed in the church’.
A decision not to allow any governmental officials in the church was taken by believers in November 2007 in response to attempts of the city authorities to take away or building. The civil suit between the religious community and Minsk city executive committee on deconstruction of the building on Kavaliou Street, 72, was prosecuted since October 2005. In January 2009, the Supreme Economic Court ruled that the decision of the city executive committee on seizure of land property from the community and buying out the church building at 37.5 million rubles was lawful.