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Monday, August 22, 2005

 

Authorities shut evangelical church in Minsk

From Charter 97:

The Minsk city court has ruled to liquidate Christian religious congregation “Belarusian Evangelical Reformed Union”. The Minks executive committee summoned the church representatives to the court as they had not re-registered. Pastor Leanid Lipen stated in the court that the case of the church’s liquidation is a purely political one.

Main reason for liquidation of religious communities, according to many priests, is lack of money for renting suitable premises, while the state does not allocate funds for that. However, Calvinist Leanid Lipen said in the court that he boycotts the new law and demands to return Calvinist churches that had belonged to that denomination historically.

“We cannot recognize this discrimination law. It violates freedom of conscience. We need freedom to be returned to us, and historical buildings returned to us (at least one of them), and the persecution to be stopped. All our buildings have been confiscated. They have been confiscated, and now they demand some legal address. I think they understand everything. They know about the history of Reformation. It is done purposely,” the pastor said to Radio Svaboda.

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