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BELARUS: Raids and fines restart, eviction again suspended for now
ICC Note:
It’s another eviction order for New Life Church. This is nothing new to them as they’ve been struggling since 2002 to keep their building. “Minsk officials – backed by the national government – have blocked New Life’s every effort to use its building in line with Belarusian law, thereby stripping the church’s rights to the property.” When will the government observe this group of believer’s right to religious freedom?
06/14/2013 Belarus (Forum18)- On 14 April the Baptist congregation in Gomel’s Soviet District, which also meets for worship in a private home, was raided. About ten police officers broke into the private house where Pastor Pyotr Yashchenko was leading Sunday worship, blocking all the exits. “They stationed a police officer at every gate and every door,” Yashchenko told Forum 18 from Gomel on 10 June.
Officers demanded that the Baptists stop worshipping, and then audio recorded the meeting, took photographs, and interrogated those present. They also took down their internal passport details and home addresses.
Yashchenko added that church members were scared, as this was the first raid on their congregation and unexpected. “God knows what their intentions were and what will be the consequences,” he told Forum 18. He noted that although many church members were frightened by the raid, most continue to attend meetings for worship regularly.
During the raid and the house search, police confiscated several boxes of religious literature, as well as personal religious literature from a number of those present. It remains unknown why literature was confiscated and where it was taken.

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