The Five Minute Challenge- Persecution in Belarus
Twenty-three years ago this month, the Berlin Wall fell. This represented the end of the Cold War and the end of Soviet regime (which many Christians were persecuted under). Sadly, some countries like Belarus continue to suffer under a similar regime.
In law and practice, the government of Belarus continues to violate its citizens’ freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief. Belarus is ruled by an authoritarian regime.
A law introduced in 2002 makes unregistered religious activity a criminal offense. Many churches have to wait several years to register and all religious activity is monitored by the secret police. Active participation in unregistered religious groups may result in a two-year term of imprisonment or heavy court-imposed fines. Additionally, the law restricts the ability of religious organizations to provide religious education for children.
In March 2010 a pastor was twice fined more than a month’s average wages for leading an unregistered church following a raid on his church’s worship service. Four months later another pastor was fined three times in one day for sharing his faith in a local village.
Please pray for Christians in the country of Belarus- that they would remain strong, despite the persecution that they face.