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Protestants Continue Hunger Strike

2006 2006-10-16T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

180 believers of the “New Life“ Church are on hunger strike in Minsk. People spend all days and nights in the building of the Church. The protesters plan to continue the hunger strike until the authorities begin a dialog with them and return the building.

Uladzimir Matskevich heads the organizing committee for creation of the Belarusian Christian Democrats party. He joined the hunger strike. Matskevich is one of the protesters who hasn’t left the church for 10 days already.

-- Our mood is quite cheerful. People more and more realize that it’s not that simple, that some actions may happen soon. We are preparing for the actions that may happen today or tomorrow. At the same time we are preparing to the fact that the whole thing may last several months. We know what we should do in this case as well. People participate in the action more consciously. The original impulse, inspiration that brought people here regenerates into realizing what is happening and where we are. I think this is a very healthy and realistic dynamics of the evolution of moods and expectations, -- Matskevich told to RFE/RL.

Every day the believers are visited by protestants from other communities from all over the country. Yesterday several dozen people came from Pastavy and Navapolatsak. Over a thousand people held a service together. The people prayed for the fate of all Christians in Belarus. Today the believers are expecting visitors from Pskov, Russia.

By October 16 the authorities are to respond to the application for permission for a rally on Banhalor Square. With the rally the believers hope to draw even more public attention to the problems of Protestant Christians in Belarus.

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